Archive Dive: Panton & Watson, aka the Glass Block Store

Scottish immigrant John Panton met his Irish counterpart Joseph Watson in the early 1880s when both worked for the Wm. Donaldson & Company dry goods store in Minneapolis, housed in the Glass Block building along Nicollet Avenue, known for its large plate-glass windows. The pair opened a dry goods store in Duluth in 1887, and by 1892, the firm had grown so large it required a new building to house it. The store eventually became Duluth’s much beloved Glass Block. Glass Block moved operations to the Miller Hill Mall in 1973, and in 1980 the downtown store closed and was demolished soon thereafter. Read a history of Duluth’s Glass Block, taken from the book Duluth’s Grand Old Architecture, here.

The Panton & White Glass Block Store, photographed ca. 1910 by Hugh McKenzie. [Image: UMD Martin Library]