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Friendly West End Posts

Time Travel

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? Not to brag or anything, but I have figured out a way to time travel. I can usually manage to go back a few decades, maybe a couple hundred years at most. I can’t stay for long, and I’ve yet to taste or actually touch a cup of tea from 1915, despite a fervent desire. I’m more like a traveler passing through, a tourist in a world different than mine, peering in from the side, presuming to understand what is going on around me.

This world can only be reached through research and imagination, and with the determination of a detective piecing together scraps of evidence. It also depends on helpful archivists, online databases and the support of public grant money and fellow dedicated history nerds. The path is sometimes long and slow, a little bit dusty, but sometimes it pulls us along with the thrill of the hunt and a spectacular find, like a full-on glimpse of faces, journals, conversations and the insides of shops. Tracking down history mysteries is an addicting little hobby.

The recent purchase of a 102-year-old building at 1917 W. Superior St. by the Duluth Folk School led to an off-hand request for more information about the building’s history. I found myself drawn into this request, spending free time browsing 1915 online editions of the Duluth Herald from the comfort of my computer desk, no dusty pages required courtesy of public access grants and diligent scanners. The new owners and I knew some facts, and now we wanted to see what that place had looked like when it was built. I had a hunch some pretty good time travel was possible.

Accordion repair school plans return to Duluth

The world’s largest accordion museum and education center has started plans to restore and reopen a building that served as its home more than a decade ago in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

A World of Accordions Museum Director Helmi Harrington said earlier this week the organization will relocate an accordion repair school from current museum headquarters in Superior to its former site at 2801 W. First Street in Duluth. Harrington recently repurchased the historic church building and its adjacent parsonage out of St. Louis County foreclosure and started a tax payment plan for the property.

“Anyone who has visited our museum in Superior knows it’s crowded and our spacious building is no longer spacious,” said Harrington. “The idea for moving just the repair school to Duluth is not inexpensive, but it’s something we need to explore.”

A World of Accordions Museum is located in the Harrington Arts Center and features more than 1,300 instruments, an extensive recording library and art collection and thousands of accordion-related artifacts. Its nine-month accordion repair program accepts about 20 students annually from all over the world.

Artist scouting Duluth’s West End for mural location

Paul LaJeunesseCollege of St. Scholastica Assistant Art Professor Paul LaJeunesse was recently selected as the Duluth Art Institutes’s inaugural Lincoln Park Craft District Artist in Residence. LaJeunesse discussed project plans during an Advance Lincoln Park meeting today at the DIA Lincoln Center Arts for Education building. He said he is currently scouting the neighborhood for a mural location. The permanent work will incorporate images of people and places that represent the area. LaJeunesse has created public murals before, including “Confluence” for the North Shore of Chattanooga, Tenn. in 2014.

The aim of the residency program is to support the role of artists as effective community builders and to support and expand the revitalization of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, where the DAI has operated its satellite location for arts education since the early 1990s.

The inaugural year of the residency is scheduled for two terms, with LaJeunesse in residence March to June 2017. A national artist will be selected for the second term, July to September 2017.

Duluth art scene finds place in Lincoln Park craft district

Duluth Pottery co-owners Tom Hollenhorst and Karin Kraemer pose in the loft of their new art studio with partner artist Luke Krisak. Duluth Pottery is remodeling the former P&J Paint building in the West End.

Duluth Pottery co-owners Tom Hollenhorst and Karin Kraemer pose in the loft of their new art studio with partner artist Luke Krisak. Duluth Pottery is remodeling the former P&J Paint building in the West End.

The art world is quickly carving out space for itself in an ambitious neighborhood revitalization project in Duluth’s West End neighborhood.

An established Twin Ports potter, a new gallery and retail store with studio space and an arts arm of an American Indian social service organization have all recently announced plans to renovate and open buildings on West Superior Street. All three projects fall within the boundaries of the Lincoln Park Craft District, a rebranding and redevelopment effort organized by neighborhood businesses last year.

The Lincoln Tribune – Dec. 17, 1985

Lincoln Tribune 1986-12-17p1

Oh, the random relics that land on the kitchen table at the Perfect Duluth Day Headquarters. We’ve also scanned all 15 interior pages of this issue of Lincoln Park School’s fancy old newsletter, which appear below, but take heed in the warning that it’s pretty dry stuff in general — everything from mazes and recipes to the school lunch menu. One thing of note is page 2, which is a ridiculously long list of items in the lost and found.

Carnivores rejoice: OMC Smokehouse opens

OMCCrewFor more than two years, Duluth carnivores have been salivating at the prospect of OMC Smokehouse, Tom Hanson’s new restaurant venture. The wait will be over when OMC opens Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Duluth MakerSpace in full swing

Duluth MakerSpaceDuluth’s 10,000+ sq. ft. cooperative member workshop is in full swing this month. Duluth MakerSpace offers a different class or event every night in February — everything from welding to electronics to soap making. Wednesday nights are also free demo nights with a different demonstration each week. 

Paid membership is not necessary to take classes or attend demo nights.

Early Lincoln Park Postcards

lincoln_park_postcard

millers_creek_lincoln_postcard

A couple cards I’ve not seen before. Both are postally unused.

Mystery Photo #49: Women and Children First

Gust Landin Photography

The back of this postcard credits Gust Landin, a photographer who operated out of 24 N. 21st. Ave. W. in Duluth’s friendly West End neighborhood, with shooting this image.

The main question here is, what’s going on in this century-old photo? Why have a bunch of ladies in dresses lined up with a row of children in front of them at what we can assume is some Duluth location? Who are they? We’ll probably never know for sure.

The busy, prosperous, West End: E. C. Peterson

Prosperous West End - E C Peterson

This clip from the Feb. 1, 1912 Duluth Herald, highlights that “get together” spirit of the friendly West End. Profiled at right is E. C. Peterson, one of the proprietors of Minnesota Tea Co.

Duluth’s Best Bread celebrates one year

Robert and Michael Lillegard

Robert and Michael Lillegard

The majority of corner bakeries have been casualties of the modern demands of life, which prioritize convenience over quality. A pair of Duluth entrepreneurs is turning the corner bakery model on its head with a limited menu of artisan products, a mix of wholesale, retail and subscription sales and just the right amount of wit.

Entrepreneur eyes West End for distillery

kevin-evans-photo-by-clint-austinKevin Evans, CEO of Duluth Whiskey Project LLC, is interested in opening a distillery at the former Franklin Foods facility on the 1900 block of West First St. in Duluth’s West End. The Duluth News Tribune reports the Duluth City Council could vote tonight on a resolution authorizing up to $50,000 for Barr Engineering Co. to conduct an environmental investigation of the former Arrowhead-Kemps dairy operation, which closed in 2013. The property is listed by Holappa Commercial Real Estate at $450,000.

Duluth 1200 Fund Advance West Loan Program

West DuluthA new loan program designed to spur the revitalization of older stock commercial buildings and create jobs in West Duluth and West End business districts is detailed in a brochure released by the city of Duluth and the Duluth 1200 Fund Board. The program is intended to help with commercial building acquisition or improvements in the form of a loan up to $50,000 with opportunity to have up to one half of the balance forgiven, assuming program requirements are met.

The maximum amount of the loans will range between $10,000 and $20,000 per job created, up to the $50,000 limit. The loans are only available for commercial buildings in the 55806 and 55807 zip codes. The buildings must be owner occupied (not leased) by a small business committed to creating two or more full-time equivalent jobs within two years. Further details are available in the brochure below.

Western Duluth by Air

DMIR DocksDuluth aerial footage by Charlie Dinges, featuring Wade Stadium, the ore docks, grungy industrial stuff and pretty trees.

Johnson Appliance and TV Center Ghost Sign

Johnson Appliance and TV

Remodeling for the future home of Boreal, a coffee shop, farm-to-table cafe and smoothie and juice bar with intentions of opening in Spring 2017, has revealed the old sign for Johnson Appliance and TV Center.