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Mystery Photo #96: Unknown Building

This image landed in Perfect Duluth Day’s files under “unknown building.” Anyone recognize it?

9 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 2 weeks ago



It's not clear in the image without zooming in that the building in the background has a Star of David on it. That seems like helpful information. There also appears to be two "for sale" signs on the mystery building, although they can't really be read. 

Matthijs

about 2 weeks ago



Also, on the bottom of the column just to the right of the addition with the For Sale signs, the year 1884 is visible. 

There is a webpage with photos of present and former synagogues in Duluth but none of them seem to match the one behind the mystery building.

Paul Lundgren

about 2 weeks ago



Yeah, there's a sort of very vague similarity between that building and Adas Israel Synagogue ... but not really. Even allowing for remodeling over time they just don't seem to match up. And there are old photos of Adas Israel looking very similar to what it looks like today.

Gina Temple-Rhodes

about 2 weeks ago

I am not convinced this is Duluth. I've seen this picture before on some Duluth history Facebook group as a mystery photo. The only clue I really see is the Sanitary Farm Dairies sign, which indicates there was likely a small grocery store there that sold that brand of milk. Sanitary Farm Dairies was based in St. Paul, and had branches farther south. It seems with all the other Dairy companies around the Duluth area, would they really be distributing up here? 

Here's more than you need to know about Minnesota dairies ... 
Agriculture Department: An Inventory of Its Dairy Trade Hearing and Docket Files 
Minnesota Milk Company Building 

Paul Lundgren

about 2 weeks ago

I am also leaning toward this not being a Duluth image. There's something about the slope of the street in front of the building that makes it look a lot like an East Hillside avenue, but still ...

Gina Temple-Rhodes

about 2 weeks ago

Also, what about Duluth’s fire hydrants? Were they ever painted that color? Somehow looks unfamiliar.

Chad S

about 2 weeks ago

For whatever reason, I get a real St. Paul vibe from this photo. Particularly with the hills and structure style, the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood or thereabouts jumps out at me. No current St. Paul synagogues seem to match (at least based on my quick streetview), but there used to be a largely Jewish neighborhood that was gradually removed for freeway and hospital projects right in that area. The elimination of that neighborhood might predate the picture though. Any thoughts on this or further resources that might help confirm/deny/track it down?

Paul Lundgren

about 2 weeks ago

It seems we have a solve on this one, and ... spoiler alert ... it's not a Duluth building.

An email today from Andy Matson notes:

That building is the Schornstein Grocery and Saloon building in St Paul. Dayton’s Bluff. 707 Wilson Ave East and 223 Bates Avenue. I think it’s torn down. I was in there 20 years ago as there was a tattoo parlor inside. My friend was getting something done and I tagged along with her.
As of the current (Sept. 2014) Google Map of the area, however, the building was still there. The photo above is from 2008. Schornstein Grocery and Saloon has it's own Wikipedia page and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. How it got mixed up with Duluth photos is, well, easy to understand. If photos were all properly labeled there would be no mysteries, right?

Matthijs

about 2 weeks ago

Duluth building or not, I’m appreciative of the definitive answer. I recruited a friend to spend a small amount of time with me yesterday to look at synagogues in hilly U.S. cities because I thought the best way to prove it wasn’t Duluth would be to show where it was. I never found the synagogue, although I did end up with a better sense of the varieties of U.S. synagogue architecture.

But now I know that I couldn’t find the synagogue in the background because that wasn’t a synagogue in the background. It was a Methodist Church.
 
And sometimes Methodist churches incorporate the Star of David into their architecture. 

So I may not have learned something about Duluth, but I did learn something about Mello “D” Milk, the Magen David, and Methodists. That’s enough for me to call that Mystery Photo a success.

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