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Morgan Park Posts

Funding agreement in place for St. Louis River cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Steel Corp. announced an agreement yesterday to undertake a $75 million cleanup and restoration project at the former Duluth Works site on the St. Louis River at Spirit Lake in Duluth. This is part of a larger effort to restore the St. Louis River Area of Concern through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Morgan Park coffee shop will return June 9 as Letica’s Iron Mug

Morgan Park’s only restaurant and beverage purveyor closed on May 25 after nearly four years in business. On June 9 it will reopen under new ownership. The Duluth News Tribune reports Mike Letica is the new proprietor of the Iron Mug. Johnny Northfield will manage the business. Building owner Paul Johnson, who founded the coffee shop, is a silent partner.

The DNT notes Letica plans to steer away from the Iron Mug’s previous food focus, pizza, and is instead planning inexpensive options like Taco Tuesday and 99-cent ice cream cones.

Iron Mug closing May 25

Iron Mug Coffee and Ale House in Duluth’s Morgan Park neighborhood will close May 25 according to a post made on the business’ Facebook page today:

As most of you know we have decided to make the hard decision to close our wonderful restaurant. We have enjoyed getting to know the wonderful people in Morgan Park as well as all the people that drove out to check our place out. I’m so glad that I got to witness and be part of all the new friendships that developed here because that really was what this place was all about. Again thank you for all the support these last four years.

R.I.P. MP: Morgan Park School preliminary demolition underway

Demolition of outbuildings on the Morgan Park School site began this week. Developer Aaron Schweiger plans to construct several 12-plex apartment buildings on the property. It will be called Morgan Park Estates.

Lost and Found Duluth Relics from Morgan Park and WDSM

Above are the letters that adorned the exterior wall near the entrance to Morgan Park School. They are for sale at Bauer Brothers salvage in Minneapolis. Below is an old WDSM-TV camera discovered at Axman Surplus in St. Paul.

Popular Mechanics: Duluth adopts system of community garages

Popular Mechanics 1921 Duluth Community Garages

According to this very vague story from the November 1921 issue of Popular Mechanics, Duluth may have been at the forefront of developing community garages. What happened? One of the garages shown in the magazine still exists today in the Morgan Park neighborhood.

R.I.P. St. Margaret Mary Church of Morgan Park

St Margaret Mary Church 1 St Margaret Mary Church 2

The two photos above, posted to Facebook by Tim Beaulier, show yesterday’s demolition of St. Margaret Mary Church in Duluth’s Morgan Park neighborhood. WDIO-TV’s Eyewitness News reported last week the church was set to be razed.

Morgan Park housing development secures cleanup grant

KuepersThe St. Louis River corridor will see a $10 million, 67-unit, market-rate rental housing development thanks in part to a contamination cleanup grant.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced last week it will award the Duluth Economic Development Authority $654,051 to advance the vision of Kuepers Inc. of Brainerd in constructing nine additional single-family housing units to accompany its two 29-unit buildings in western Duluth.

Kuepers is completing construction on its Grand Avenue Estates project at 9215 Zimmerly Ave., near Stewart Creek on the northern edge of the Morgan Park neighborhood.

An Unexpected Arrival in Morgan Park

margan-park

Does anyone have the story?

Duluth Works Steel Mill Presentation

trainworldussteelSammy Maida produced this documentary about U.S. Steel’s Duluth Works operation. Maida built a 20-by-6-foot model diorama of the mill that was on display at Saint George Serbian Orthodox Church in June.

Morgan Park’s only coffee shop and eatery turns two

Felisha and Brandon Johnson

Felisha Johnson and her father-in-law, Paul Johnson

When Morgan Park School closed in 2012, the neighborhood seemed to be in decline. Two prominent businesses, Advantage Emblem and Park State Bank, had already moved out. The grocery store and post office were long gone. Nothing new seemed on the horizon.

Paul Johnson and his son Brandon, owners of the Lakeview Store Building, felt the area needed a gathering place. In 2014 they opened Iron Mug Coffee House in the building’s southern end at 1096 88th Ave W. July marks the two-year anniversary of Iron Mug’s opening, while the historic building that served as one of the first indoor shopping malls in the United States recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary.

Duluth school principals defend short skirts

For your back-to-school reading pleasure, from the Oct. 2, 1921 Duluth News Tribune:

1921-Duluth-school-principals-defend-short-skirts

 

Iron Mug Coffee House in Morgan Park

Iron Mug of Morgan Park Iron Mug Iron Mug Coffee

There is a new coffee shop, deli and pizza place in Duluth’s Morgan Park neighborhood — and it also happens to be the only coffee shop or restaurant of any kind in that neighborhood.

Iron Mug opened on July 30 in the old Lakeview Store building, which was constructed in 1916 to serve as one of the first indoor shopping malls in the United States. The building once housed a grocery store and post office, among other things. The largest major tenant in recent years was Advantage Emblem & Screen Printing, which was located in the building from about 1991 to 2008, before moving to the corner of Haines and Arrowhead roads, near the airport.

Some Iron Mug facts:

  • Owned by: Felisha and Brandon Johnson
  • Address: 1096 88th Ave. W.
  • Phone: 218-464-5408
  • Coffee served: Backroads brand from Hayward
  • Hours: Open seven days a week — Mondays through Saturdays 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

R.I.P. James Bothwell, 1986 Principal, Morgan Park School

James W. Bothwell died on Jan. 13. He had a long career as a teacher and principal in St. Paul, but in 1986 he had a stint in Duluth as Morgan Park Junior High School’s interim principal, following the mid-school-year retirement of longtime principal Milan S. Karich and preceding the launch of Jon Vomachka’s reign.

I was in seventh grade and not much of an outlaw during Bothwell’s brief term, so I don’t have any good stories to relate, but I remember him seeming to be quite a nice guy. Does anyone have more specific memories to share?

United States Steel Duluth Works

It’s amusing to me that the soundtrack to this slideshow is by Dokken. You might think that’s a poor choice, but I remember 20 years ago the only Duluth kids into Dokken were from Morgan Park, so it makes sense.

Also, tragically, the one sentence of text in the video contains multiple errors, but oh well.