Silberstein House

The Silberstein House, date and photographer unknown. [Image: UMD Martin Library]

2328 E. Third Street | Architect: Frederick German | Built: 1909 | Extant

The oldest son of Bernard and Nettie Silberstein, Edward Silberstein was born in Duluth in 1874 just after the Financial Panic of 1873, which cast serious doubts on the community’s future. But Duluth, and his parents’ dry goods business, persevered and later thrived in the 1880s. By the time he was twenty, Edward was working at Silberstein & Bondy, the family business, and in 1900 married Box Elder, Utah, native Rose Jessie Goldberg, and together they had a son and a daughter. In 1909 the Silbersteins asked Frederick German to design them a house to sit at the southwest corner of Twenty-Fourth Avenue East and Third Street. German took the opportunity to design one of Duluth’s earliest examples of Prairie Style architecture. At two-and-a-half stories high, German’s tall take diverts somewhat from Prairie School standards, which are usually one and rarely more than two stories tall. Otherwise, he employees expected elements including a low-pitched hipped roof with matching dormers, rather broad overhanging eaves, and rows of casement windows to emphasize horizontal lines. As architectural historian Jill Fischer has pointed out, that front façade is centered on an entry that is “sheltered by a shallow-roofed canopy supported with double oversized wooden brackets. Massive brick piers with stuccoed panels flank the bottom of the entry stairs below the outer edges of the canopy.” The Silbersteins sold their home in 1924 to Bridgette Kelly, president of Kelly Furniture; Edward passed away in 1938 and Rose died in 1954. Kelly sold the house in 1954, and it has since remained a private residence.