Howe Building, aka Glencoe Building

A sketch of the Howe Block ca. 1891 by Edward P. Collins. [Image: Zenith City Press]

26 North Third Avenue West | Architect: McMillen & Radcliffe | Built: 1891 | Lost: 1946

Duluth real estate pioneer Colonel George C. Howe, called by the Duluth News Tribune a “genial rustler of realty,” built the three-story Howe Block at the southeast corner of Third Avenue West and First Street in 1891. Howe asked Charles McMillen and Edwin Radcliffe to design a brick-and-stone Romanesque Revival building featuring a round corner tower and a second-floor balcony with Roman arches supported by columns along the First Street façade. The Kitchi Gammi Club, which had been burned out of its home at the Grand Opera House in January 1889, leased the entire second and third floors before the building was constructed, and the architects included a reception room, library, café, and parlor rooms for the club. The Howe Block’s first floor was reserved for four retail tenants, while the Kitchi Gammi Club occupied the second and third floors, staying there until the club constructed its own building in 1912. While the Superior Street façade was much more ornate, club members entered off Third Avenue West, where a wide stairway led the to the Club’s chambers. Howe sold the building when he moved to Minneapolis in 1912, and thereafter the structure became known as the Glencoe Building. On September 22, 1940, a fire damaged the building and sent twenty-one Duluth firefighters to the hospital after they were overcome by gas fumes. The building was demolished in 1946 and replaced by a one-story retail and parking complex that originally housed the Duluth Bowling Center.

Duluth’s Glencoe Building, later renamed the Howe Building. (Image: Duluth Public Library)