J. C. Schobes Bakery and Confectionery

25 West Superior Street | Architect: John J. Wangenstein and William E. Baillie | Built: 1894 | Extant (Global Village)

This is a small two-story orange Roman brick commercial building sited on a narrow rectangular lot. The first floor is devoted to an open storefront framed by narrow brick piers with plain limestone details, which support a large steel beam. The original storefront was modified in 1921, 1929, and again in 1984 to its current configuration. It makes use of both curved and angled plate glass set above a polished pink granite base to create a large exterior display area. A decorative terrazzo floor survives in the entry area, and appears to date from the early renovations of the storefront. A large plywood sign covers the original transom and is lit by three new gooseneck lamps that are affixed to the masonry above the steel head beam. A continuous limestone sill marks the base of the second floor, which is divided into three bays – two slightly inset outer bays containing a single window opening flank a central bay with two openings. New fixed aluminum windows with tinted glazing have replaced the originals, but the flat, wide limestone heads and detailing are intact. A series of seven vertical red sandstone corbels perch atop the limestone heads of the outer bays, while the two windows of the central bay are capped by half-round brick arches constructed from two rows of rowlock bricks accented by an overscale limestone keystone. Each arch is filled by a limestone panel carved into a shell motif highlighted with a pair of volutes and acanthus fronds. An elaborate and delicate brick parapet caps the building, with a limestone balustrade supported by a wide brick corbel over the outer bays, and a steeply pitched brick gable over the central bay. The gable is filled with an almost fountain-like detail consisting of a small projecting limestone basin surmounted by two vertical brick stacks and a series of four concentric and progressively recessed brick rowlock half-round arches. The entire parapet is protected by a copper coping that has been damaged on the easternmost bay.

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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