Eklund House

The Eklund House ca. 1910, photographer unknown. [Image: Duluth Public Library]

224 24th Avenue East | Architect: John J. Wangenstein | b. 1908 | Extant

John J. Eklund emigrated to the U.S. from Sweden when he was five years old, later attending Gustavus Adolphus College and the Minnesota Hospital Medical College. He arrived in Duluth in 1885 and four years later married Annie Dryer; the following year the Eklunds had a son, William. Dr. Eklund served as a member of St. Luke’s Hospital surgical staff, maintained a private practice, and organized the West End’s Duluth State Bank. Annie died in 1904 and Eklund never remarried. William also became a physician and entered his father’s practice, and in 1909 they moved into a grand home designed by John J. Wangenstein at the southwest corner of Twenty-Fourth Avenue East and Third Street. The two-and-half-story home’s hipped roof is pierced with dormers sporting Flemish gables, indicative of Flemish Renaissance Revival architecture. Faced with mottled orange brick and trimmed with red sandstone, the Eclectic house’s asymmetrical front façade includes a two-story stacked bay window topped with a balcony to the right of a large entry porch with Roman-arch openings supported a heavy keystone and brick pillars. The north façade echoes the west with another two-story bay and more Flemish-gabled dormers. Wangenstein designed a similar house for Millie Bunnell in 1899 at 2017 East Superior Street which stands today. Tragically, John Eklund was gunned down by a deranged patient in 1922 when he was sixty-two years old. William remained in the house with his wife Helene and their three children until 1940. The house sat vacant for a few years until it was sold; it has since been divided into apartments.

The Dr. J. J. Eklund House photographed by Dennis O’Hara in 2009. (Image: Northern Images)

Story by Tony Dierckins. Originally published on Zenith City Online (2012–2017). Click here for more stories by Tony Dierckins.