R.I.P. Amendola Building

Demolition work on the Amendola Building in Downtown Duluth. (Photo by Mike Creger)

The Amendola Building at 405 E. Superior St. was demolished today to make way for Essentia Health’s Vision Northland project.

Amendola Building, Google Maps, 2018

Here is some background on the Amendola building from a 2014 document titled Historic Resources Inventory for the East End Residential Area-Phase V.

Resource # 177. Dodge Block (Amendola Building), 405 E. Superior Street (SL-DUL-0818) This two-story flat-roofed broadfront commercial building has a concrete foundation and walls clad in brick. The Superior Street façade is divided into eight bays. The primary entrance spans the two central bays and has a flat-roofed canopy. Modern steel and glass commercial doors are recessed. Windows throughout the building have been replaced, as has most of the brick cladding on the building. The entire first floor façade had been altered at the time of its initial inventory in 1980. Since then, further remodeling has occurred, including alterations to the arcade between the floors and the second floor windows. The arcade is clad in painted cement board panels. According to the 1950 Sanborn map, there was no cutaway corner at the 4th Avenue and Superior Street intersection, but it is not clear when that alteration occurred.

The Dodge Block was constructed in 1911, and R. M. Hunter & Co. were the real estate agents in charge of renting out the building’s retail and office space. Eight storefronts spanned the first floor along Superior Street. The upper floors were used for professional offices and services including milliners and tailors. In 1913, Henrik Holmboe began operating his wallpaper studio, office and showroom from a storefront. Flaaten’s Conservatory of Music was a longtime tenant in the building. According to the 1950 Sanborn map, the two storefronts at N. 4th Avenue E. and E. Superior Street were used by a restaurant while the remaining six were used as stores.

This property was initially inventoried in 1980 as a part of the St. Louis County Historical Society “Duluth’s Eastern CBD Area” survey and was included in the 1984 citywide Duluth Historic Resources Survey. At the time, it was categorized under Group III Commercial, defined as “More common structures and related cultural resources that contribute to the overall character of Duluth. Although most Group III buildings would probably not qualify for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, they are worth of preservation whenever feasible. Owners should be made aware of their value and encouraged not to destroy the architectural integrity and character of such structures through senseless remodeling and ‘modernization’ schemes.” No recommendation of eligibility was made.

This property has been extensively altered including replacement brick cladding, replacement windows, and the cutaway corner at 4th Avenue and Superior Street. These alterations have compromised the integrity of materials, design, workmanship, and feeling, and the building cannot convey any possible historic significance. For this reason, the property is recommended not eligible for listing in the NRHP or for local designation by the City.


Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

As near as I can tell the Amendola was originally called the Dodge Block, as referenced in the historic resources text quoted in the post, but it also might have replaced an earlier building a half mile away that was the original Dodge Block.

The clip above is from the July 6, 1910 Duluth Herald, which would be before the modern building was purportedly constructed in 1911. It references an address on Third Avenue West, which is apparently the area of the original Dodge Block, seven blocks west of the modern Dodge Block / Amendola Building. Anyway, the old Dodge Block was apparently a helpful place for those in need of advice in business and love affairs.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

Below are a few more modern Dodge Block clippings from the Duluth News Tribune. Thanks to Heidi Bakk-Hansen for tracking them down.

May 8, 2016

Feb. 20, 2018

Dec. 19, 1919

May 23, 1920

Oct. 31, 1920

April 24, 2021

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

This clip, found by Gina Temple-Rhodes in the May 14, 1921 issue of the American Contractor magazine, indicates the Dodge Block at 18 Third Ave. W. was designed by Anthony Puck (office in the Torrey Building) and owned by the Berquist Brothers (office in the Exchange Building). Perhaps Puck was not responsible for the initial design of the building, but rather a remodel, since the abbreviation "remod" appears on that clip ... and it's 1921.

Puck is also credited as the architect of the Pickwick restaurant at 508 E. Superior St. and the Lyman/Griggs House at 2502 E. Second St.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

Mr. George Suffel, baritone, advertised in the Jan. 29, 1922, Duluth News Tribune. Thanks to David Ouse for this clip.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

And bouncing back to the original Dodge Block on Third Avenue West, here we have reference to lost diamond rings in the area, with a mention that the Dodge Block contained Acolian Hall, where tango classes were held.

The clip is from the March 16, 1914, Duluth Herald. Thanks to Gina for this one.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

It's a bit small to read, but this F. I. Salter ad from the Nov 1, 1918, Duluth Herald mentions $10/month rooms for rent in the older Dodge Block.

We have two heated rooms left in the Dodge block. 18 N. 3rd ave. w. One on the second floor and one on the third floor.
Thanks again to Gina for finding this one.

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