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July 14, 1926: The gala opening of the Lincoln Hotel

On this day in Duluth in 1926, the Lincoln Hotel at 309–317 West Second Street opened with great fanfare. Designed by Harold Starin and A. Reinhold Melander, the Lincoln Hotel was called a “model of elegance” and “the last word in comfort” by the Duluth Herald. The hotel was four stories of red brick, with a first-floor Bedford limestone façade and a decorative marquee along Second Street; patterned brick adorned the building above the fourth floor. Its large lobby was roughly four-hundred square feet and luxuriously appointed, with a separate writing room in the rear and a ladies parlor outfitted with a grand piano. The Lincoln had 105 rooms described as “cheery and sunny”: a center courtyard allowed light into rooms on both sides of the hotel. While not all the guest rooms had bathroom facilities, a number of rooms were set up as suites and contained their own kitchenettes. Proprietor M. E. Scott put on what the Duluth Herald described as an “elaborate musical program” on the hotel’s opening night. It featured an orchestra and “vocal selections” by Miss Francis Mundigel, a graduate of Minneapolis’s McPhail School of Music, which still operates today. (A year later, in 1927, polka legend Lawrence Welk would graduate McPhail.) Read more about the Lincoln—and why it is not standing today—here.

Duluth’s Lincoln Hotel (Image: Zenith City Press)