Mystery Photo #80: Rust-Parker and its neighbors

Lars Waldner posted this circa 1916 image to Facebook, tagging PDD. It’s kind of a bizarre angle on Duluth, and for some reason identifying buildings in the photo is exceptionally challenging. The only cheater we’re given is the big sign on the side of Rust-Parker Wholesale Grocery Company, which was at 217 S. Lake Ave.

What buildings can you identify?



about 6 years ago

I can see at least four buildings in the photo that are still standing.

The large roof on the bottom left of the photo likely belongs to Sacred Heart Elementary School, built in 1904 and current home of the Damiano Center.

On the right side of the photo, just above the row of residential buildings, is the old YWCA building, built in 1908 at 202 W. Second St. 

Just to the left of the YMCA building is the Advanstar Office Building, also built in 1908 (the windows visible on the back of the building are now bricked in, but their original shape is still clear).

The tallest building in the photo, toward the left side of the image, is the Fidelity Building, built in 1910 and torn down in 1977. 

Next to the Fidelity Building, the top of Freimuth's Department Store, where the Minnesota Power Plaza now is, can be seen. 

The fourth still standing building might be the most interesting. Just across from the Fidelity Building, the back side of Lake Superior Place at 21 W. Superior St. is visible. The six-story eastern section of the building was constructed in 1905 but the five-story western side wasn’t built until 1913. Only the eastern side of the building has been constructed at the time of the photo.

So if all these dates are correct, this 1916 photo cannot be from 1916, but must have been taken after 1910 (the construction of the Fidelity Building) but before 1913 (the year the western side of Lake Superior Plaza was built).


about 6 years ago

Here's a Google Earth image from approximately the same perspective.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Here's a mash together of the then and now images.

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