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September 6, 1892: City announces new high school‘s tower clock will be a replica of the one in Westminster Abbey

On this day in Duluth in 1892, newspapers announced that the clock for the brand new Duluth High School would be a replica of the one in the tower of Westminster Abbey. The city awarded the bid to install Central’s new clock tower to contractor F. D. Day, who would earn $3,839 for his efforts. Designed by Sir E. B. Dennison, the bells alone weigh 64,000 pounds. The article also mentioned that the secretary of the Minnesota educational exhibition at the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago had requested “photographs and plans of the high school building inside and out, for exhibit at the World’s Fair, and the board looked favorably on their being supplied.” We here at Zenith City do not know if plans for the new school were ever submitted or displayed at the fair, but if they had, the brand-new, state-of-the-art educational facility would have looked familiar folks from Pennsylvania: Duluth architects Emmet S. Palmer and Lucien P. Hall modeled the building after the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh. That same day the high school opened for classes for the first, and the next day the newspaper reported…nothing. Not that they weren’t interesting in the new building. In fact, its construction dominated headlines for the past year, and an article just two days earlier announced that classes would began on the 6th. The big celebration would come October 21, at the building’s dedication.

The 1892 Duluth Central High School. (Image: Zenith City Press)