May 1, 1910: Construction of Alworth Building complete

On this day in Duluth in 1910, workers finished constructing the 16-story Alworth Building, Duluth’s tallest “skyscraper,” just eight months after breaking ground. It was billed throughout the state as the “tallest modern fire-proof building in Minnesota.” Advertisements for the building ended with the quote, “Look up—you can’t miss it!” Three days later the Duluth News Tribune reported that not only would the Alworth’s offices be quickly filled, but Duluth was booming so much that the offices those businesses vacated to relocate in the Alworth would soon be fully occupied as well. The building’s chief tenant was the Northern National Bank, which occupied the main floor; its officers included Jeb Washburn, J. J. Eklund, Louis Loeb, and Marshal W. Alworth, son of the building’s developer, Marshal H. Alworth. Another Duluth pioneer, C. H. Graves, moved his real estate business into the Alworth as well. Alworth, then a timber cruiser, first came to Duluth in 1873 but left after Jay Cooke’s financial collapse. He returned in 1882 and began investing in timber land north of Duluth as well as other property; much of that property was later developed into iron mines, so Alworth was able to cash in on the region’s two major industries of the time. Read more about Alworth Building here.

A postcard of the Alworth Building made some time between 1915 and 1925. (Image: Zenith City Press)

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