Lange Motors Building

Lange Motor Company, aka Carlson Used Book & Records. (Image: Duluth News Tribune)

206–214 East Superior Street | Architect: Unknown | b. 1915

This building was first constructed in 1915 as the Interstate Auto Company. By 1930 it was home to Duluth’s REO Speedwagon dealership (206–208), Kent Motors (210–212), and J. M. Michel Tires (214). Ten years later Lange Motors, Fox Auto Supply, and the Blue & White Hamburger Shop occupied the building. Lange was still there in 1950 at 206–212 while Kewpies Restaurant occupied 214. The 1960 Duluth Directory shows that Lange had been replaced by the Minnesota State Motor Vehicle Registration Office and Kewpies by the Kubbard restaurant. The AMCO Transmission Company leased the first floor from roughly 1960 to 1965 or 1966, and Earl Rogers’ Honda Village occupied the building from March 1968 through 1969. In 1970 the Nite Owl Café was operating out of 214 while the rest of the building sat vacant. By 1980 Duluth Auction had moved into 206–208, the Muffler Clinic was at 210–212, and the Sunnyside Café had replaced the Nite Owl. In 1987 Carlson Used Book & Records took over the entire building. Carlson closed in 2003, replaced by Big Lake Books, which in turn was replaced by Boardwalk Book. The building has been vacant since Big Lake closed. It underwent a renovation beginning in 2015 and was still vacant as of March 2019.

Story by Maryanne C. Norton. Originally published on Zenith City Online (2012–2017). Click here for more stories by Maryanne C. Norton.