Group Seeks New Purpose for Old Jail

Northland Uncovered: Old St. Louis County Jail

DULUTH, Minn. – The historic Zenith city has several landmarks within its borders.

Some of these historic staples are quickly losing their shine.

That’s why the Duluth Preservation alliance has made a list of 10 endangered properties in town.

The old St. Louis County Jail is one of them.

It was built in 1924 to complement the Civic Center.

The building has tunnels underground that were used to transfer prisoners from jail to the county courthouse.

This property is owned by Grant Carlson and is waiting for its new purpose.

“Hopefully we can come up with some new ventures for this older building,” said Mike Poupore, Board Member for the Duluth Preservation Alliance.

Several options have been thrown around like providing housing, offices, or storage.

“It could serve this city as such a huge catalyst for economic development,” Poupore said, adding that Duluth has a history many come to experience.

He says it’s the embodied resources in the building making the former home for prisoners so special.

“It’s got the granite that’s been quarried and all the stone that’s been quarried and the concrete that’s been manufactured, you know the timber that was used when they were building it,” Poupore said.

To learn more about the Duluth Preservation Alliance and see the list of endangered properties, head to

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