DPL Woodland Branch

The Woodland Library ca. 1935, photographer unknown. [Image: Duluth Public Library]

3723 Woodland Avenue | Holstead & Sullivan, Architects | Built: 1928  | Closed: 1998

Hunter’s Park residents asked the city for a branch library as early as 1921, and even made arrangements to donate a parcel of land for it to stand on. But when the library board finally proposed a new branch to serve communities along Woodland Avenue, the newly organized Woodland Community Club flexed some political muscle to convince the board to put it in Woodland. The club formed a committee of Woodland residents that included attorney Thomas McCabe, district court judge and former Duluth mayor Clarence Magney, library board member John Heitmann, and City Attorney Bert Forbes. The new building would be financed by a bond issue for several public buildings, which the Woodland group actively sponsored. When it passed, the city had to decide where to place the building, Hunter’s Park or Woodland. The city council asked the city attorney for an opinion on the matter, and Forbes replied that, because of the bond’s language, “the library could only be erected in the Woodland Area.”

While Holstead & Sullivan’s design for the Woodland Library has been described as Tudor Revival, its highly peaked rooflines and lack of half-timbering place it more in the Gothic Revival school—although it is much less adorned than the Lincoln Branch Library. The V-shaped Woodland building, originally faced in red brick and stucco, lacks the elaborate windows and entrances the same architects employed in the West End edifice. After the Woodland and Lester Park branches were closed in 1998 and a new branch library opened at Mount Royal along Woodland Avenue, the 1928 building was sold and renovated. It has been a private home since 2001.

Woodland Branch of the Duluth Public Library. (Image: Zenith City Press)