Park Terrace

Park Terrace ca. 1891, photographer unknown. [Image: UMD Martin Library]

Park Terrace | 801 West 1st Street | Architects: Charles and Earl Barber | Built: 1890 | Lost: 1936

Richland, Ohio, natives Jacob R., Henry H., and Benjamin Franklin Myers arrived in Duluth in 1884 to open the Myers Brothers Company, dealers in real estate and mineral lands. The brothers, sons of Jewish Prussian immigrants, helped organize the West Duluth Land Company, which developed most of western Duluth between Grassy Point and New Duluth. The Myers brothers also helped organize the Duluth Real Estate Association and were early developers of the Mesabi Iron Range, including the Myers Mine in Chisholm, Minnesota.

In 1889 the brothers hired Superior architect Earl Barber to design a row of townhouses on the northwest corner of Eighth Avenue North and West First Street. Poised on a rather steep hill overlooking downtown Duluth and the harbor, Park Terrace consisted of six three-story flats along Eighth Avenue West and two more flats at 805 and 807 Park Place, a road that no longer exists. Park Place was essentially a two-block western extension of First Street, which turns south at Eighth Avenue West for half a block, runs west to Tenth Avenue West, and then turns north again for half a block before resuming its westward path. The land between Park Place and First Street was set aside as Myers Park.

Park Terrace was essentially a V-shaped hybrid of Victorian and Romanesque architecture, faced with heavy brownstone while adorned with a plethora of delicate ornamentation, including a variety of false gables, both Roman- and segmental-arch window and door portals, and different styles of tower caps topped with finials of various designs. The building’s central corner rose to a square observation tower whose dome was topped with a Star of David finial, reflecting the brothers’ Jewish heritage.

The Myers brothers and their families all lived in Park Terrace until 1896. Jacob left Duluth for Texas in 1897, then headed back to Ohio before moving to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1916. Benjamin and his family moved into a house on London Road and later to St. Paul before he too headed back to Ohio then on to Philadelphia, where he lived until his death in 1937. Henry stayed in Duluth, continuing the company as the Myers Brothers, and in 1909 built his family an incredible home in Duluth’s East End.

By 1930 new owners had subdivided the six townhouses into twelve apartment units, but had difficulty finding tenants. Park Terrace was demolished in 1936. Its former site is now considered part of Myers Park.