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Central Hillside Posts

Old Central chimes will return in a few weeks

Central-Clocktower-BellThe chimes of the 125-year-old Central High School clock tower fell silent last week when one of the clock’s gears failed. A new gear is being made and should be in place within about six weeks, according to Dave Spooner, manager of facilities for Duluth Public Schools.

“We’ve got the clock apart and we’re in the process of having another gear made,” Spooner said. “It’s not something you can buy, you have to have them made. … It’s just a failure of an old part.”

Central High School opened in 1892, built with a clock tower that rises 230 feet. A new Central High School opened in 1971, and the original building was converted into the school district’s administrative offices. The building has since been known as the Central Administration Building or “Historic Old Central.”

Duluth’s Cascade Hotel

cascade-hotel

“Your home when you’re in Duluth” is the Cascade, “the friendly hotel.” Located on the corner of First Avenue West and Third Street, it features “kitchenette apartments – hotel rooms” that are “transient – residential.”

Bicycling the Hillside

Don Ness Saturday EssayThe climb feels endless. Tattered concrete fills my field of vision — taunting and mocking my painfully slow bike ride up the hill. My legs ache and are starting to shake. My lungs burn and seem to collapse a bit more every time I turn the pedals over and try to suck in a great, heaving gulp of oxygen.

The front wheel wobbles for lack of momentum, forcing me to cross back. Now I’m shamefully zig-zagging across the steep avenue, which both relieves the burdensome pitch, but quadruples the length of the climb. There is a deep desire in me, immutable by logic or maturity, to ride the whole way, steep inclines notwithstanding.

Then the moment of kinetic equilibrium arrives in which the depleted energy of my legs can no longer overcome gravity’s backward force and for the briefest moment my bike and I are stuck in suspended animation. I dismount at the very moment gravity begins to prevail. With humility washing over me, bike and I switch roles as I become the vehicle delivering the two of us up the hillside.

The Red Door brightens Duluth’s East Hillside

Photos by Jamie Merideth

Photos by Jamie Merideth

Hibbing native Sharon Kangas has been a Head Start teacher and cosmetologist. Now she’s an entrepreneur. In September 2013 she opened the Red Door, an ornate consignment shop in Duluth’s East Hillside neighborhood.

Steve O’Neil Apartments grand opening

Union Block 2010 Steve O'Neil Apartments 2015

That was then, this is now. The photo on the left is the old Union Block in 2010; the photo at right is Steve O’Neil Apartments today. (Apologies for not shooting from the same angle for this before/after comparison.)

A ribbon-cutting and grand opening was held today at the new 44-unit complex located at 115 W. Fourth St. in the Central Hillside. The apartments are providing supportive housing for families that have experienced long-term homelessness. it is operated by Chum, which provides 24-hour supportive services to those living in the facility.

Old Central Clock

Has anyone else noticed that the old Central High School clock has stopped?! I hope it’s going to be fixed. I enjoy hearing the bells ever 15 minutes.

R.I.P. Gangsta/Ghetto Spur

Gangsta_Spur

Well, that was the word that I heard From my brother in a fur hanging out at the Gangsta Spur He said, “it always begins behind The Twins they trade a bottle a gin for night full of sin.” -Giljunko

Tonight is your last chance to patronize the infamous Gangsta/Ghetto Spur. It will soon be razed and a new SA will be built farther back toward the alley.

The GS joins its fallen brethren Johnny Ray’s Pizza, House of Donuts, Members Cooperative Credit Union and others I’m probably forgetting. Share your memories in the comments.

Twins Bar has closed

Duluth Hillside and Cascade Park Flood of 2012

Video of Lake Avenue and Fifth Street on Wednesday morning. My elder neighbor Shirley says that this is “Worse than 1972.”

First Avenue West between Fifth and Cascade streets.

Cascade Unity Mural.

House of Donuts

duluth-house-of-donuts

I recently recovered this photo from my attic. It’s dated July 18, 1992. That’s me on the left in my Minnesota Twins championship T-shirt, proudly raising a bag full of what have got to be bear claws. PDD co-founder Barrett Chase is on the right. In the middle, grabbing his junk, is Bob Schulte.

For most of its existence, and at the time of the photo above, House of Donuts was located just east of where the Whole Foods Co-op is now, at 624 E. Fourth St. Ronald and Michele Carter were the owners.

Hillside Laundry

Just got the news … Hillside Laundry is burning.

Duluth’s “Union Block” and its Tenants

UnionBlock

The two buildings on the corner of First Avenue West and Fourth Street are known as the “Union Block,” though that name probably hasn’t been used much in the past 50 years.

Da Houze of Flavor

DaHouzeOfFlavor

I guess I have a knack for walking past this building whenever a new sign is going up. (Like in 2006, when the Hip Hop Candy Shop opened; this is the same building, different storefront.)

Anyway, someone standing in the doorway told me Da Houze will be a record store and will open in a few weeks. So there’s the scoop. It’s on Fourth Street and First Avenue West.

The question that occurs to me now is, if it’s “Da Houze,” shouldn’t it be of “Flavah”? Is it just me, or should houses be of flavor, and houzes be of flavah?

Ghettos don’t just happen …

This is response to the post “Looking for Duluth apartment” in which “j-i-l-l-o” posted that someone was looking for a centralized location in Duluth and “Losjasmo” said that was a synonym for “ghetto-town.”  “Wildgoose” took offense. So did I.

This summer I heard Majora Carter speak and something she said really struck me. “Ghettos don’t just happen … they are planned.”

Hillfest 2010: Livin’ in the Hillside

The Hillside community welcomes its friends and neighbors to the first annual Hillfest, a new festival celebrating the Hillside. Hillfest will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the intersection of N. Sixth Ave. E. & Fourth St.

With live music, food, local art and craft vendors, a wealth of children’s activities, community information, and the revival of the Whole Foods Co-op Tofu Toss, it’s going to be a great day in the Hillside. Admission is free, and everyone is invited!

Participants are encouraged to walk or bike to Hillfest, though free parking will be available in the St. Mary’s ramp at 320 E. Fourth St. Kids will have the opportunity to decorate their bikes before a bike rodeo by the Duluth Police Department, try their luck on the climbing wall, and listen to music and stories from local artists.

Live music on the main stage will include Treetop Tango, 2one8, and others. The Whole Foods’ Tofu Toss is a ridiculously fun event, with all proceeds donated to East Hillside Patch’s Mind 2 Mind program. Tofu Toss registration forms are available at Whole Foods Co-op.

Hillfest is still accepting vendor registration. Registration is only $10, so it’s a great way to sell your wares and promote your business or organization.

For more information, check out the Hillfest Facebook page or the website at duluthmn.gov/hillfest.