May 15, 1969
Glass Block was a pillar of commerce in downtown Duluth for decades, and in 1969 the venerable department store underwent major renovations. When they were complete, the News Tribune was on hand to document the changes.
The store’s newly remodeled restaurant is featured in the photo above from May of that year. At lower left, patrons (left to right) Gladys Archambault, Clara Hexum and Francis Brandenburg enjoy a coffee break. To the right, restaurant manager Agnes Goff keeps a watchful eye on the operation.
Goff managed the restaurant from 1955 to 1978, according to her obituary in the News Tribune. She died in 2003 at age 90.
The downtown Glass Block store, located at 128-132 W. Superior St., closed in 1981. The building — which had housed the store since 1892 — was razed to make way for what is now the US Bank building at the corner of Superior Street and Second Avenue West.
A second Glass Block store opened in the Miller Hill Mall in 1973. The Glass Block name lingered on at that location until fall 1998, when it was sold and converted into the present-day Younkers store.
Interestingly, the number you would have used to call Ms. Goff at the Glass Block in 1969 — 722-8311 — still is the phone number in use by Younkers at the Miller Hill Mall.
Here is one more photo from that 1969 remodeling project:
White leather shoes are on special for $8.90:
And, in the background is the Closet Shop: