424 West First Street | Architect: John De Waard | Built: 1902 | Extant (sort of…)
Anton Weiss, publisher of the Duluth Herald, visited the Twin Cities in January 1902, accompanied by archi-tect John de Waard. Together the pair was looking for ideas for a new home for the newspaper. Weiss planned to build along the lower 400 block of West First Street, just east of the new McKay Hotel. De Waard had even traveled to several other cities on behalf of Weiss, visiting modern newspaper operations in order to construct what the publication itself called “a thoroughly up-to-date newspaper home.” Despite this preparation, Weiss and his colleagues were leaving their undersized and already outdated 1892 building along Superior Street with some reluctance, stating that “there will always be be a tender spot in the hearts of all connected with The Herald for the old building.”
De Waard’s design called for a two-story Romanesque Revival building faced with brick and trimmed with brownstone. Its otherwise plain façade featured a large entrance topped with a Roman arch and a cornice with balustrades flanking a rounded pediment with a cartouche that carried the legend “1902 THE HERALD.” Large round finials stood atop the building’s corners and below the cornice a rectangle of light bulbs surrounded letters also outfitted with light bulbs that spelled out “THE DULUTH HERALD.” The newspaper moved to its new headquarters in late January 1903.The Herald and Duluth News-Tribune came under the same ownership in 1929. By then the Herald had purchased the Gothic Revival house pictured below immediately east of the Herald Building at 418–420 West First Street. The newspaper had renovated the house’s front façade into a large, wall-like structure called the Herald Annex. The photo at top indicates that the annex was connected to a modern building behind it. Directories referred to this complex as “Herald Square.”
By 1940 both the Herald and the News Tribune were publishing out of the Herald Building. In 1952 a new structure, considered an addition to the Herald Building, replaced the old house as the annex. The McKay Hotel was demolished in the 1960s, after which the Herald Annex, the Herald Building, and a new structure over the former McKay footprint were combined with one uniform façade. In 1982 the two newspapers merged as the Duluth News-Tribune & Herald. The “& Herald” was dropped six years later.