January 2, 1914: The new Kitchi Gammi Club opens

On this day in Duluth in 1914, the new Kitchi Gammi Club at 831 East Superior Street opened with a gala new year’s ball. The building was designed by renowned architect Betram Goodhue in the Jacobean style. Goodhue was hired by his friend Guilford Hartley, head of the Kitch’s building committee. The Kitchi Gammi Club was one of four buildings Goodhue was commissioned to design in Duluth that year, and the other three also had strong Hartley connections: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where the family worshiped;the Hartley Building at 740 East Superior Street, where the Hartley family conducted business; and Cavour Hartley’s home at 3800 Superior Street, across from Northland Country Club, which Cavour and Guilford helped establish. Hartley and the building committee spent just $270,000 for the four-story building that takes up over half of a city block, just over $6.5 million in today’s dollars. That included not only construction, but furnishings for the more than eighty rooms that are housed within the building’s walls. Hartley chose the Jacobean style after visiting his friend Chester Congdon’s Glensheen estate, a Jacobean Revival building with an interior that blends Beaux Arts with Arts & Crafts. Glensheen was also similar in style to other clubs Hartley had visited. Common exterior elements include brick and stone, large rectangular windows, bay windows, triangular gables, and steeply pitched roofs. These elements in the Kitchi Gammi Club are accented by the stone carvings of Duluth’s O. George Thrana. Read a more complete history of the Kitchi Gammi Club—and its 1914 clubhouse—here.

The Kitchi Gammi Club photographed by Dennis O’Hara in 2010. (Image: Northern Images)