Originally published November 2014
The Minneapolis, St. Paul, & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, commonly called the Soo Line, arrived in Duluth in 1910 in grand style. It built a large passenger depot designed by Charles E. Bell, William M. Tyrie, and Cecil B. Chapman at 602 West Superior Street. The Neoclassical Revival–style building, faced in red brick with stone and terra cotta trim, stood one-and-a-half-stories tall along Superior Street but dropped two stories in back to reach Michigan Street. The depot’s construction cost $250,000. The Soo Line Depot was demolished in 1972 as part of Duluth’s Gateway Urban Renewal Project. Gateway Towers, an apartment complex for seniors, now occupies the Soo Line Depot’s former site. Redevelopment plans had at first called for the building to be saved and reused as the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center. Unfortunately years of neglect resulted in a completely flooded basement, which undermined the building’s structural strength. The 1892 Duluth Union Depot at 506 West Michigan Street—originally slated for demolition—was instead saved for the Heritage and Arts Center. Read more about the history of railroads in Duluth here.