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Postcards from the Alworth Building

Downtown Duluth’s 247-foot-tall Alworth Building has been the city’s tallest commercial high-rise since its construction in 1910. Standing at 16 stories above Michigan Street and 15 stories above its street address at 306 W. Superior St., the Alworth is also the tallest mid-block building in Minnesota. The nearby 11-story Maurices Headquarters, completed in 2016, is Duluth’s second-tallest commercial high-rise at 207 feet.

Real estate developer and industrialist Marshall H. Alworth commissioned his namesake building to serve as offices for Northern National Bank. It was designed by Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham, who had previously designed the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth. Construction lasted from September 1909 to May 1910. It was the tallest commercial structure in Minnesota until 1915, when the Soo Line Building in Minneapolis was completed.

The Alworth Building is a steel-framed structure, reinforced with concrete and faced in buff-colored pressed brick with terra cotta details and a limestone cornice.

Additional postcard images appear below. A more detailed history of the Alworth Building is available at Zenith City Online.

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