Postcards from Duluth’s Lincoln Hotel

The Lincoln Hotel stood at 317 W. Second St. from 1926 to 2004. The location is now a parking lot for St. Louis County’s Government Services Center.

The four-story red-brick building was designed by Harold Starin and A. Reinhold Melander. It had 105 rooms and was originally considered a luxury hotel. By 1973 it was low-income housing and later became a residence for senior citizens and recovering alcoholics. It closed in 1988 and deteriorated until the city of Duluth acquired it for demolition.

The text on the back of the postcard above reads:

The Lincoln is centrally located and is convenient to shopping district.
Parking Lot – Dining Room – Banquet Facilities
One Block West of Duluth Clinic

There is plenty more info about the Lincoln on the web, including posts on Zenith City Online, the News Tribune Attic and an interesting look at the dilapidated conditions of the building in 2002 — as well as more historical info — by a Minneapolis “urban adventuring” group called the Action Squad.

Below is a photo by Tony Rogers, who has a gallery of Lincoln Hotel demolition shots on his website.

3 Comments

Bret

about 3 years ago

In the mid to late 1980s (in the Lincoln Hotel's last years is seems) I road my motorcycle up from St. Paul in the autumn. The leaves were changing and a friend and I planned on finding a hotel without making reservations. Well, as a Duluthian now I realized that was foolhardy. There were no rooms at any of the hotels in town, but then we saw the Lincoln Hotel. Thinking it was an actual hotel we went in, but didn't find a hotel lobby. We explored a bit, including some of the hallways upstairs. Several doors into rooms and shared bathrooms were open. I ultimately road back to St. Paul that night, and the next day started saving even more for retirement although I was in my twenties at the time. What I saw scared the crap out of me.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Ha! I love that the Lincoln Hotel served as Bret's personal one-night "Scared Straight" program.

George Martin

about 1 month ago

I moved to Duluth on Aug. 1, 1999. Probably toured the Lincoln in 2000. Was nuts! Nice lobby it must have been. Old empty antique cash register still on counter, intricate tile flooring. Lincoln sweet had oak shelves built into wall. It looked like homeless people had been there. I could hear people moving around while there. Crawled up ladder into window, moved metal mattress spring blocking window, and heard people scurry. Elevator shaft was flooded, couldn't go in basement. Right before they tore it down.

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