Then and Now Posts

Rephotographing Duluth 2010/2020

In this video, photographer Kip Praslowicz revisits Duluth locations he shot photos of in 2010 in order to shoot 2020 versions.

One of the photos near the end of the video caught our eye at Perfect Duluth Day because Paul Lundgren shot a similar photo in 2010 from a different angle, showing a perspective that might have easily been forgotten.

Duluth’s Neighborhood Telephone Exchanges, 1920

One hundred years is a long time, and the Duluth of one hundred years ago can seem like a place without much connection to the present. But whether we are aware of them or not, elements of the past always carry over into the present. As an illustration of that, these five images, taken by Duluth photographer Hugh McKenzie and included in UMD’s Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections, show the city’s neighborhood telephone exchanges in 1920. Shown individually below, they are followed by the most recent Google Streetview image of the same location.

Selective Focus: Duluth Then & Now

Even if you’re not a history nerd, you’ve got to admire the effort put into finding and recreating these photos and the point of view. The images are from John McLoughlin’s @duluth_then_and_now account on Instagram.

Then and Now: Blue Crab Bar / OMC Smokehouse

The above photo was shot on Aug. 29, 2009 at the Blue Crab Bar, 1909 W. Superior St. Today it is the location of OMC Smokehouse. The photo below, shot Aug. 29, 2019, attempts to replicate the scene.

The fir has fallen! Storm claims large tree

Before.

After.

Mystery Photo #80: Rust-Parker and its neighbors

Lars Waldner posted this circa 1916 image to Facebook, tagging PDD. It’s kind of a bizarre angle on Duluth, and for some reason identifying buildings in the photo is exceptionally challenging. The only cheater we’re given is the big sign on the side of Rust-Parker Wholesale Grocery Company, which was at 217 S. Lake Ave.

Mystery Photo #76: 400 block of West Superior Street

The above photo, submitted by Jay Sonnenburg, shows businesses on the 400 block of West Superior Street. At right is the WEBC Radio studio. At left are the Fargusson Building, Manhattan Building and Spalding Hotel.

Postcard from West Superior Street in 1908

This postcard depicts a scene looking east from the 500 block of West Superior Street, where the Radisson Hotel and Duluth Public Library stand today. It was mailed 110 years ago — Aug. 29, 1908.

“The Glen” at Garfield Park in Duluth

This 1897 issue of Duluth’s Labor World shows the waterfall and cauldron of “the Glen” in Chester Park. From 1894 to 1902 the area was named Garfield Park.

Postcard from West Third Street in 1908

This postcard was mailed 110 years ago today — Aug. 14, 1908. It depicts a scene looking northeast on Third Street at about 24th Avenue West. The church steeple in the right foreground is Bethany Lutheran Church, built in 1903.

Northwestern Oil Company Filling Station

The Northwestern Oil Company filling station was built in 1921 at 716 E. Superior St. This photo from Jay Sonnenburg’s family collection is likely from the very early days of the gas station’s existence. The building is now home to the Portland Malt Shoppe.

Then and Now: Grand Avenue at Knowlton Creek

The image above shows Grand Avenue at Knowlton Creek, looking from Duluth’s Norton Park neighborhood toward the Riverside neighborhood. It’s dated 100 years ago today — Feb. 16, 1918. At the time, Grand Avenue was named Third Street. What does it look like today?

The Fisk Rubber Company, 1920

Fisk Rubber Company had retail stores in 40 states during the 1920s. The Duluth sales and service station was at 749 E. Superior St. The photo above was shot by Hugh McKenzie and dated Oct. 23, 1920. Below, the same location at Eighth Avenue East and Superior St., shot Nov. 7, 2017.

Postcard from Central Avenue and Ramsey Street

The undated postcard above depicts the long-ago view facing south on Central Avenue from Ramsey Street. The modern image below references the same location, showing the Gopher Lounge parking lot, Denton Law Office, Beaner’s Central, Zenith Bookstore and Central Sales, along with a pair of obscured vacant buildings on the east side, and Pioneer National Bank and several other obscured buildings on the west side. Happy Spirit Valley Days!

Postcards from the Viking Motel

The Viking Motel operated at 2511 London Road from 1961 to 2000, and was demolished in 2001. The two-story, 30-room motel overlooking Lake Superior listed these amenities on its postcard: “Room Phones. Free Color TV. Coffee. Air Conditioned. Bridal Suites. Water Beds.”