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January 24, 1918: Morgan Park’s Clubhouse—the Good Fellowship Club—dedicated

On this day in Duluth in 1918, officials dedicated a new club house in Morgan Park. Designed by Chicago architects George and Arthur Dean, the building stood at 242 88th Avenue West. U.S. Steel built the Good Fellowship Club for Morgan Park residents, all of whom worked for U.S.S.’s Minnesota Steel Plant adjacent to the community. It cost $153,000 and, most other Morgan Park buildings, constructed of concrete and faced in stucco. It measured 158 by 258 feet with four wings grouped around a central core. The building featured an auditorium with seating for 480 people, a gymnasium, a running track, a cafeteria, bowling lanes, shower facilities, a youth section, and a swimming pool. There were outdoor courts for volleyball, basketball, tennis, lawn bowling, and croquet. It was the center of social life in Morgan Park, and members paid $1.50 per month in dues. By 1968 membership had declined, perhaps because in the 1940s Morgan Park was opened to all Duluth citizens and the city took control of the club.  The building closed in 1980. When the city decided to demolish the club, the Minnesota Historical Society resisted: the building was considered part of a historic district. The Duluth News-Tribune called it “an albatross.” In October 1981 the Minnesota Historical Society relented and the building was demolished; later many residents of Morgan Park regretted the loss. A smaller clubhouse was built on the same location. Learn more about lost Duluth buildings here.

Morgan Park’s Good Fellowship Club. (Image: Duluth Public Library)