I found this poignant image of a man surveying a block of abandoned homes in a folder of random, unfiled photos in the archives. It has no date, and no caption information of any kind.
It was in some proximity to a group of 1960s I-35 construction photos, which fits with my first thought on what this photo might show – a group of homes slated for urban renewal demolition in that era. Perhaps the man is a former resident. It’s winter, and the street the homes are on is unplowed.
What appears to be the Duluth ridgeline is visible immediately above the man’s head, so that might be a small clue.
Can anyone fill in more information? If so, post a comment. Here is a closer look:
I mentioned the I-35 photos I also found in that file. Here’s one from October 30, 1962, showing civic officials with a model for the freeway’s planned expansion through downtown Duluth:
Pictured here are, from left, Charles N. Bailey, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Streets and Highways Committee; R.B. Morris, executive secretary of the Chamber of Commerce; and L.H. Miller of the Minnesota Highway Department.
Here’s a closer look at the model:
The Mesaba Avenue interchange is at left. As envisioned here, the freeway would have been elevated and left the railyards largely intact (in fact, this model shows the Soo Line Depot still intact and handling trains via a tunnel under Mesaba). The freeway would have run across the northern part of Canal Park, with interchanges at Fifth Avenue West and somewhere around First Avenue East.
Of course, many variations and many years passed before the freeway was extended in its present – and most assuredly better-than-this-model form.
One other thing stood out to be from this image – the homemade quality of the poster:
- Andrew Krueger