May 8, 1925: Hotel Duluth officially opens for guests

On this day in Duluth in 1925, the Hotel Duluth at  219–231 East Superior Street opened to receive guests for the very first time. George H. Crosby, called “the father of the Hotel Duluth,” was the first to sign the register, followed by builder Walter Schroeder and architect H. W. Tullgren. Dinner parties were held in the hotel’s English and Moorish rooms, with Schroeder exclaiming that, “This is the most beautiful hotel lobby in the country and Duluthians should be proud of this institution. The hotel is a great civic project and should have the support of every man and woman in the city. The people have been clamoring for a new hotel for many years and now they have an institution that compares with the best in the country.” The Duluth Herald called the hotel “Metropolitan” and said that it has the “typical atmosphere of the east.” The paper went on to describe the building as “a bit of New York transplanted to the Northwest…. From the lobby to the 14th floor Hotel Duluth is essentially metropolitan.” It was compared to other grand hotels in the U.S., including New York’s Commodore and Roosevelt and Chicago’s Blackstone. Throughout the building’s history as a hotel it hosted celebrities and dignitaries, including President John F. Kennedy just month’s before his tragic death and an uninvited bear so eager to get inside it smashed through a window. Since the early 1980s the building has served as a senior living facility known as Greysolon Plaza. Read a history of the Hotel Duluth here.

A postcard of the Hotel Duluth published in the 1950s. (Image: Zenith City Press)