R.I.P. Posts

R.I.P. Memorial Community Center

The community center building at Memorial Park in West Duluth is no more. The PDD Drone did a fly through on Sunday for posterity.

R.I.P. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

R.I.P. Duluth~Superior Magazine

Sad to see the Duluth~Superior Magazine cease publication, announced today in a Duluth News Tribune story. DSM made Duluth feel classy. Jim Heffernan comments on his blog (Jim Heffernan’s Blog) on his six year stint writing for this print magazine headed by former Duluth News Tribune publisher, Marti Buscaglia.

R.I.P. Charlie Bell

bellEyewitness News: Duluth businessman Charlie Bell dies

Northland’s NewsCenter: Well-known Duluth business leader Charlie Bell dies

Duluth News Tribune: Duluth businessman, former mayoral candidate Charlie Bell dead at 64

Chinese Lantern Restaurant Fire of 1994


(Duluth News Tribune photo of Jan. 16, 1994, Chinese Lantern fire)

Back in the 1980s we lived in Silver Bay, and my parents used to make special trips down to Duluth just to go to this place. Now they drive up from the cities to visit and we’ll take them out to eat at many of the fine restaurants we have, and they’ll always comment about how great the Chinese Lantern was and how there’s nothing else like it. Even when my wife worked at the Duluth Athletic Club, before the flooding closed it, she would always hear comments like, “This place is great, but it’s no Chinese Lantern.”

So what was it about that place that people still lament its passing 20 years later?

West Duluth Save-a-lot closing

It’s like losing a family member in a stupid way – we got to know the employees and we relied on them for the basic staples.

Save-a-Lot in the Spirit Valley Mall is closing. It sounds like the owner is retiring. Maybe another franchisee will take it over.

Goodbye, Woodland Jr.

Last chance to visit Woodland Middle School this weekend. Classic junior high 1980s memories of fashion issues and general awkwardness. And lots of “going out with people” started and ended often via notes.

Duluth News Tribune: Say goodbye to Duluth’s Woodland Middle School

10 November

R.I.P. Lou Reed

His death is locally relevant, since he wrote Perfect Duluth Day’s unofficial theme song.

R.I.P. Joe Gomer

Joe Gomer, Minnesota’s last surviving member of the Tuskegee Airmen, has died at 93.

Statement from Mayor Ness:

Duluth lost a national hero with the passing of Joe Gomer, one of the few remaining Tuskegee Airmen who served in WWII. Joe and his family moved to Duluth in 1963 and have been an integral part of our community ever since. While we mourn, we can also take comfort in knowing that he received the recognition he rightly deserved. Joe was able to witness the unveiling of a life-sized statue at the Duluth International Airport. The Joe Gomer Monument will forever serve as a reminder of Joe’s vast contributions to our community and country.

Duluth News Tribune: Legendary Tuskegee Airman Joe Gomer of Duluth dies

Fashion Wagon – Minnesota Woolen

A vintage flannel caught my eye this afternoon while taking a break from work and strolling into the Wise Buys thrift store in Bellingham, Wash. I was shocked to see “Duluth, Minnesota” on the tag. Does anyone know where this was located? I have never heard of it before.  

A quick Google search shows the trademark was registered around 1960 and expired in 1987.

My arms are still itching from trying the shirt on.

R.I.P. Mike, Mike and Tom graffiti on Central Avenue

For decades, the names of two guys named Mike and a Tom were spraypainted unceremoniously on this wall, now that has been painted over.

I’m not sure when this changed but I just noticed it today. I met the new owner of the Italian Village a month or so ago and he seems like a great guy. He also seems to be doing a lot to expand and spruce up the storefront. So today I was only a little surprised when the graffiti that was painted on the side of the building years decades ago had been covered up by what looks like will eventually be a new mural.

Here is a post by Paul Lundgren from a few years ago with some fun history and comments about the two Mikes and the Tom who had their names painted on the building. According to the comments, it has also been painted over before, so perhaps it’s not gone forever.

R.I.P. Horseshoe Billards and Burns Bar

To toss out some random bar gossip, I heard last night that Horseshoe Billiards in the West End closed a while back, and that Burns Bar in Rice Lake Township closed several months ago.

Which reminds me that I don’t think it was ever mentioned on PDD that La Belle in Superior closed earlier this summer. And I heard the roof caved in at the Palace Bar. Is that true? Is it still open?

What will we do without all these classy joints?

Gettin’ Ripped at Burns Bar
Gettin’ Ripped at Horseshoe Billiards
Gettin’ Ripped at the Palace Bar
Gettin’ Ripped at La Belle

Mean Beans Espresso & Creams

I just moved into the Chester Area and have noticed that Mean Beans hasn’t been open for the past couple of days. Does anyone know if they have closed the doors for good?

R.I.P. Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Duluth

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Westminster Presbyterian Church demolition is underway at 4441 Grand Avenue in West Duluth. The church was a victim of the Historic Summer Solstice Flood Disaster of 2012, when a culvert beneath the building worked its way into the basement and wrecked the place. The city of Duluth bought it as part of its Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program. The church was built in 1961.

Update: In 2015 Westminster’s congregation moved to a new home at 9030 Beaudry St. in Duluth’s lower Smithville neighborhood.

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