Tearing down the Bradley Building, 1979

December 3, 1979

The wrecker’s ball is pulverizing the four-story Bradley Building at the southeast corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street to clear the way for realignment of Lake Avenue South and eastward extension of the I-35 freeway. The rear of the building is being demolished but the front portion will remain standing until early January to minimize traffic interruption. (Karl Jaros / Duluth Herald)

The Bradley Building was included at the end of an earlier News Tribune Attic post on Famous Clothing. At one time it was the home of KDAL radio and television. At the time of its demolition it also was known as the Compudata Building – I presume that must have been the last tenant.

Here is another photo of its demolition, from November 23, 1979:

Work crews began last week to tear down the Compudata-Bradley Building at 10 E. Superior St. Here, a worker dismantles a brick wall by hand, because the adjacent building, which houses Famous Clothing, will remain standing. The work is the first demolition in the long-delayed Interstate 35 extension from Mesaba Avenue to 10th Avenue East. The structure is one of four to be razed for realignment of Lake Avenue South as part of the freeway project. During the demolition, which will cost $280,000, pedestrian access will be blocked along Superior and Michigan streets near the building and car traffic along Michigan Street will be reduced to one lane. (Karl Jaros / News-Tribune)

9 thoughts on “Tearing down the Bradley Building, 1979

  1. Pingback: Corner of Superior and Lake, circa 1930 | News Tribune Attic

  2. The Bradley Building is where I met my wife back in 1953. A group of us guys knew the all night KDAL disk jockey, Del Russell, and would hang out with him from time to time after midnight. One night, as we were waiting for the janitor to let us in, 3 girls were just leaving Bridgemans’ and walking west on Superior Street. The janitor called to them to “come on over”. They did, and we spent a few hours in the KDAL studio while Del was doing his on the air show. I became acquainted with one of the girls, and she eventually became my wife.

  3. Pingback: Corner of Superior and Lake, 1988 | News Tribune Attic

  4. As a former Duluth resident, I love your blog – I worked in the Bradley building. I worked for WDSE-TV (the old KDAL properties) as a work-study job – I met Mr. Beck – a great curmudgeon type of guy. I remember he wouldn’t drink coffee (“I wouldn’t poison my body with that stuff”). Talk about a shoe-string operation then, we would turn off the old 2″ VTRs between the times we would use them.

    My favorite WDSE memory was some kind of “Legislative Report” show on Sunday Morning that had local legislators talking about issues of the day. One legislator – I forget his name – insisted that it is the right of blind people to enjoy hunting too, and he intended to introduce a bill in the next session. I guffawed behind my camera and drew daggers from him – I though het was kidding.

    I went on to work at KDAL-TV – which since went down the tubes. But I felt the “ghosts” of the Bradley Building.

  5. Andrew–thank you for the great pictures and articles about Duluth–when the population was probably over 100,000. Keep up the good work.
    As a former Duluthian, I still have a fondness for the great city and hope to return someday-upon retirement.
    I remember the Bradley Buildimng well, the cage elevators, elevator operators, and Dr. H. Tangwall, DDS who was my dentist until he retired.
    Joe Huie’s was also a great place!!

  6. After graduating from high school and a broadcasting Institute in Ohio and Pennsylvania, I worked in radio in the ’70′s & ’80′s. After working out east and a short stint in Phoenix, I came to Duluth, near where I had spent quite a bit of my younger upbringing. I worked in the Bradley building in the late ’70′s at KAOH AM / FM (94.5 FM which went by “KO-95″). They had their offices and studios on the 4th floor, if I remember. Located downtown was a good spot. It was a recently formatted station featuring a new “Country Rock” format that was beginning to get pretty popular. I was the “Morning Man” in radio-talk, holding down the early am until about 10:00 am slot. At most stations this ‘morning drive time’ was (and still is) one of the coveted ‘high profile’ slots along with the afternoon drive time (4-6 pm). Actually, I found out that no one else wanted to get up at 4:00 am to sign on the station! Some “Star slot”. I made so little that I had to work at selling advertising time during the rest of the day to make any kind of living.
    Being a D.J. is a young guys job. Lousy hours, poor pay — but lots of fun, a little bit of an ego trip and great way to meet girls by phone and at special events! The station eventually folded, causing me to file for my first unemployment claim. It’s broadcast license eventually went to and became KQDS AM/FM (Now “KQ-95″, I believe). I remember the Bradley building had the coolest old elevator with the old dials and a sliding cage door right out of some old movie. The building had a unique smell, too. Not a bad one, just kind of classic…

  7. I think the Beauty School was in that building, too, and brave souls could get experimental hairdos for cheap!
    Would love to know more about Karl Jaros, too. I rented an apartment from him in the early 70s. Loved that guy.

  8. The Bradley building was a beautiful structure that stayes in my memory. I also remember the wooden street and Joe Huies’ place where some of my adult relatives would go for Chinese food. As a child (around 10 years old), I would often go with a couple of friends to the KDAL studio where the staff welcomed us and the DJs would let us play with the microphones and pianos in the studio. On Saturdays, we would go there to earn a few dimes to pay for a movie by participating in the children’s talent show broadcast every Saturday. Our talent wasn’t great, but the money paid for a movie and a free bag of popcorn “kernels” at the Lake Theater. Thanks for the photo and the memories brought back viewing it.

  9. OH THANK YOU FOR THESE PICTURES. It is so hard
    to find pictures of the Bradley Building and
    that part of Lake Avenue (south).I don’t know why,
    but I loved that corner and the wooden street (as I recall) with Joe Huies across from it. Any more
    pictures??? Maybe of Joe Huies?

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