Duluth’s Emerson School

Emerson School, located at 1028 W. Third St. in the Observation Hill area of Duluth’s Central Hillside neighborhood, opened for classes 130 years ago today — Jan. 2, 1892. The school closed circa 1982 and became apartments. The building was purchased by the Emerson Tenants Cooperative in 1994.


Dave Sorensen

about 3 years ago

I think I moved in there around December 1982. It may have closed in 1979.


about 3 years ago

I attended Emerson from 1964 to 1970 or thereabouts, where the trees are in the photo was a tall slide. It must have been six or seven feet tall. In the winter some of the boys would wear our dress shoes with hard soles to school and we'd go down that slide. We would squat down and let go, if you were really good you could grab the end of the railing and whip yourself down 11th Avenue, if not you might slide right into the street. It was a hard trek up that hill in dress shoes. 

They gutted the auditorium when I was there. The library was moved into that space, and included some offices and a reading loft with bean bag chairs. The auditorium might have sat about 350 with a nice stage (no green room that I recall). The different grade choirs would line up in the hallway and when it was our turn we'd go in through the stage door. Not a bad set up for putting on school shows.

The gym was small, two baskets, three ropes and some climbing ladders. I learned to square dance in that gym. When we had basketball games the teams had to stand on the sidelines, there was no room for chairs, the out of bound lines were maybe two feet from the wall. We had a power house basketball team too. Dominated everyone - except Franklin. They held the carnival in the gym too.

During the last years Emerson was open as a school I taught Community Ed pottery/ceramic classes there as well. Good times.

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