Garfield News Building

The Garfield News Building ca. 1929, photographer unknown.. [Image: Allesandro Guilliani]

1602 West Superior Street | Architect: Abraham Holstead | Built: 1938 | Extant (vacant)

James W. Monaghan began operating a confectionery at 1602 West Superior Street in 1908, in a tiny building across Garfield Avenue from the New Clarendon Hotel. It operated as The Garfield News Stand and sold newspapers, magazines, candy, cigars, and cigarettes. The location was ideal at the time: Garfield Avenue lead to the Interstate Bridge, until 1927 the only pedestrian, automobile, and streetcar bridge that connected Duluth with Superior, Wisconsin, across the bay. The intersection was where riders got off the Superior Street car to transfer to the Interstate line that crossed the bridge, and vice versa. For decades the convergence of Superior and Garfield was arguably the busiest intersection in Duluth, guaranteeing the news stand a steady stream of customers waiting for the next streetcar. Joseph B. Archambault took over in 1909, and four years later Bernard Pierce replaced him and stayed on until 1930 when Louis Szoztak purchased the property.

n 1938, the year before Duluth’s streetcar system was dismantled, Szoztak hired architect Abraham Holstead to design a new Garfield News Building in an Art Deco design. Like the Bible Hose building, most of its adornment comes in the form of creative brickwork. Faced in yellow brick, the one-and-a-half story structure features a single hexagonal window along both its Superior Street and Garfield Avenue façades. Another hexagonal window looks out from a small upstairs office located at the rear of the building. The entire first floor was originally one open space, filled with magazine racks and display cases. The new building also contained something its predecessor lacked: A small kitchen and modest counter so the business could also serve its patrons breakfast and lunch.

Ted and Alyce Szoztak inside the Garfield News Building, date unknown. [Image: Allesandro Guilliani]

While Louis owned the building, he stayed on with Duluth’s Zenith Broom Co. where he had been working sincehe was thirteen years old. Instead, Louis’s daughter Alyce and daughter-in-law Leona ran the place until 1978 when Leona died. Alyce’s brother Ted, a longtime postal carrier, took over after that. By then the business had been struggling for nearly twenty years, as the opening of the 1961 Blatnick Bridge and highway expansion routed traffic away from Garfield Avenue. Ted kept the Garfield open until 1990. The building is currently leased by the Duluth Pack Company, who uses the Garfield as work space for its marketing and social media employees.


The original Garfield News Building. (Image: Zenith City Press)