First Street At Chester Creek, 1960

First Street at Chester Creek in Duluth – Sept. 21, 1960. (News Tribune file photo)

Many drivers who travel on East First Street between 14th and 13th avenues East probably have no idea that they’re driving over Chester Creek, channeled in a tunnel far underground. Pedestrians know — it’s hard to miss the sound of the creek’s rushing waters as it angles beneath the street and on down to Lake Superior.

The photo above, from 1960, is a view of either the installation or demolition of a viaduct across the creek (if you know which it is, please post a comment). The photographer is standing at or near the corner of First Street and 13th Avenue East, and looking northeast. Here’s a zoomed-in view of the upper part of the photo:

At left is the Devonshire Apartments, which remain standing today. At right is the Basgen Photography building — today home to Chester Creek Dental — and farther up the street, a sign for a Mobil gas station at the corner of 14th Avenue East. The gas station is no longer in operation, but its building remains.

Here’s a view of the block as it looks today:

(Andrew Krueger /