Gray Terrace

Gray Terrace ca. 1895, photographer unknown. [Image: Duluth Public Library]

410–416 West 4th Street | Architect: Austin Terryberry | Built: 1889 | Lost: 1973

Austin Terryberry designed the four three-story townhouses of Gray Terrace in the Romanesque Revival style, which dominated Duluth architecture in the late 1880s and early 1890s. Faced with brick trimmed in heavy brownstone, the building’s decorative elements included porches, balconies, several Roman-arch windows (some with stained-glass lights), patterned wood shingles along the third floor, and iron cresting along the roof’s ridge line. When the building was first constructed in 1889, the Duluth Daily News pointed out that it featured such modern conveniences as electric lights and bells, speaking tubes, gas fixtures, and both hot and cold running water. The newspaper called the townhouse “one of the finest buildings in the city.”

Owner Charles M. Gray was born in Maine and moved to Duluth in the early 1880s with his wife Ida and their children to work as a bookkeeper, eventually becoming the secretary of the Northwestern Loan and Investment Company and secretary and treasurer of the Highland Improvement Co., which developed much of Duluth Heights and built Duluth’s famous Seventh Avenue West Incline Railway. The building was purely an investment for Gray, whose family lived a block away at 319 Fourth Avenue West. They left Duluth in 1896 and moved to Detroit, Michigan. By 1930 the four townhouses of Gray Terrace had each been divided into four apartments for a total of sixteen apartments. The building was demolished in 1973 to make room for the widening of Mesaba Avenue.