Cody Hotel

The Cody Hotel. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)

332 North Central Avenue | Architect: Unknown | Built: 1888 | Lost: 1973

In 1888, the same year the Village of West Duluth was established, J. W. Phillips built a hotel — financed by Union Blast Furnace — and named it for himself. The three-story frame building featured a second-floor porch that stretched across the building along Central Avenue. Guests were offered twenty-two rooms on the second and third floors while the first was reserved for retail businesses, including (over the years) the City Drug Store, the National Tea Company, the Cody Liquor Store, and the Pekin Chinese Restaurant.

Daniel Fitzpatrick purchased the hotel in 1910 and changed the name to Cody Hotel to honor Buffalo Bill Cody. Cody’s sister, Helen Cody Wetmore, lived in West Duluth where she ran a publishing company. Her grand home was called “Codyview,” and West Duluth’s Cody Street and Cody neighborhood are named for her and her brother. She encouraged her brother to invest in Duluth, and he built the People’s Press building in the West End. Helen Cody once described Buffalo Bill’s first visit to Duluth:

My brother had not yet seen the Zenith City. So in January of 1894 he arranged to make a short visit to Duluth. We issued invitations for a general reception, and the response was of the genuine Western kind — eighteen hundred guests assembling in the new Duluth Press Building to bid welcome and do honor to the world-famed Buffalo Bill.

In 1973 the vacant structure was demolished to make room for a parking lot.

Modern photo by Jim Davis.