Leborious Florists

LeBorius Florist building in 1963. [UMD Martin Library]

121 W. Superior St. | Architect: Unknown | Built: 1929 | Extant

St. Paul native John LeBorious came to Duluth in 1895 to work for florist Walter Seekins, signing on as partner in 1904. LeBorious briefly moved to Philadelphia, returning to Duluth in 1909 to establish his own shop at 6 East Superior Street, with greenhouses outside his home at 921 East Third Street and large lot at 2505 Woodland Avenue. His wife Margaret, who was recognized for her floral artistry, worked alongside him. In the 1920s LeBorious leased a shop at 131 West Superior Street and began billing himself as the “Telegraph Florist of Duluth.” In 1929 he closed the Third Street nursery and constructed a two-story building at 121 West Superior Street. The building’s unknown architect faced its front façade with tile and terra-cotta executed in multicolored Art Deco–inspired geometric and floral designs. The look was ideal for a florist, but the LeBoriouses stayed just four years before moving their entire operation to the Woodland location. John died in 1946, and Margaret kept the business open for another ten years. It later became the home the A. J. Fournier Decorating Co. Today Concordia Lutheran Church occupies the site of the greenhouse. Meanwhile, the LeBorious Building went on to serve a series of women’s clothing shops, including Steele’s Women’s Apparel, Bruen’s, and Frederick’s Clothing. It sat vacant in the mid-1960s before a Walgreens store moved in. The building later became, and today remains, home to Duluth Cosmetology Careers.