Delray Hotel

120 East Superior Street | Architect: Unknown | Built: 1908 | Extant (Last Place on Earth)

This three-story reddish-brown pressed brick building has a long, narrow rectangular plan with its primary façade on Superior Street. Some components of the original cast iron storefront remain, such as the large square columns at either end and the steel header beam. All other elements of the current storefront appear to be more recent additions from a recent remodeling, including the fixed aluminum frame windows, two aluminum frame doors at the west end, and the vinyl canopy that covers the original transom area. A thin band of rusticated red sandstone forms a string course immediately above the steel header, marking the base of the second floor. Four square brick piers with rough cut red sandstone bases and caps divide the second and third floors into four bays. Each bay has a rectangular window opening for a 1/1 double hung wood frame window, although only two of these units are visible at each floor. The remaining openings are filled with plywood panels covered with various painted scenes.

Although heavily damaged by water infiltration, portions of the continuous red sandstone sill are still intact at both floors, as is the band of rusticated red sandstone that makes up the window heads. Spandrel panels between the second and third floors are composed of four slightly recessed brick panels that step out to the plane of the window sill in a series of four horizontal brick corbels. Above the red sandstone heads at the third floor are a series of four decorative corbelled brick half-round arches, the outer two of which surround a highly textured panel of pressed brick in a diamond relief pattern, while the inner two panels incorporate face brick in a running bond. A final string course of rusticated red sandstone marks the lower edge of the parapet, which is composed of brick laid to resemble a projecting cornice. Two more substantial end “brackets” formed from a series of multiple horizontal corbels support a projecting brick “molding” at each end, while a row of fourteen smaller brick corbelled “brackets” appear to carry the load in the center. The whole is protected by a wide metal coping.

Sources:

  • Koop, Michael. “National Register of Historic Places Registration for the Duluth Commercial Historic District.” Minnesota State Office of Historic Preservation, St. Paul: 2005.
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