21-23 North Lake Avenue | Architect: Unknown | Built: 1908 | Extant
This two-story commercial building was built in 1908, and shares similar materials and stylistic features with its neighbor at 17-19 North Lake Avenue. It has a rectangular plan and flat roof, and the two-story red brick façade is divided into three bays on both floors. The first floor contains two storefronts framed by red brick pilasters with red sandstone details. Although partially covered with a plastic laminate at an unknown date, the central entry between the storefronts retains its original cast iron columns, which are stamped with the mark of a local manufacturer reading “Clyde Iron Works Duluth Minn.” The bulk of the first floor has been altered up to the level of the rolled metal cornice. The storefront doors and windows have been wrapped with aluminum, the bulkheads and cast iron columns covered with blue laminate, and the transom panels covered with new plywood signage.
However, these appear to be largely superficial alterations, and it is likely that the historic materials survive underneath. Original hexagonal tile paving is present at all three entries into the building, and the interiors of both storefronts have pressed tin ceilings intact, damaged slightly by the installation of new fluorescent lights.
The three bays of the second floor are demarcated by brick quoins. The outer bays have a pair of wood 1/1 double hung windows resting on a simple red sandstone sill, with a repeated brick corbel detail below the red sandstone string course at the base of the parapet. The smaller central bay is accentuated by a single 1/1 wood double hung window with a red sandstone sill and brick arch header with a red sandstone keystone detail. The parapet is decorated with a series of recesses and a central recessed panel detail, and capped by rough cut red sandstone coping. It has been damaged by moisture infiltration and shows signs of inappropriate repointing, but remains intact.