Take a Look Inside Historic UMD Limnology Building

Building began as a fish hatchery in 1880s, was taken over by UMD in the 1940s.

DULUTH, Minn. – As you drive along Highway 61 on your way in or out of Duluth, you may notice a unique building on the Lake Superior shoreline.

That’s the UMD Limnology Building, a historic estate at 6008 London Road, that many people aren’t familiar with.

It got its start as a freshwater fish hatchery in the 1880s. The University took over the estate in the 1940s and has used it in a variety of functions. Now, they’re showing off the newly renovated property.

One of Duluth’s most iconic buildings has a story many people haven’t heard. After it was a fish hatchery it became a Limnology, or freshwater research center, and was heavily used during the 1960s and 1970s.

Over the last several years, UMD put a renewed focus on maintaining the historic structure and restoring it to its original glory.

“So they just zoomed in on old pictures and they saw what it was supposed to look like and recreated that, they matched original paint colors so it’s really painstaking details like that that just make this building a real time capsule for Duluth’s history,” explained Lori Melton, UMD’s Senior Communications Specialist.

Now the building’s used to house UMD’s Recreational Sports and Outdoor Program where surfing and kayaking lessons happen.

Its interior is used as a campus meeting space space. Plus, two upstairs office spaces are rented out by local organizations.

UMD continues to conduct Limnology research, but that department has moved from the historic London Road building to the Large Lakes Observatory on the UMD campus.

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