HISTORY & FUTURE OF THE LINCOLN

The Hotel Lincoln was constructed in 1926 at 317 West Second street in Duluth by architects Starin & Melander and contractor Jacobsen Brothers of Duluth, at an estimated cost of $105,000. The building was a four-story, 100'x80', all brick "fireproof" structure housing 100 guest rooms, and catered to permanent, transient and summer tourist guests.


The hotel was remodeled in 1933 when the hotel was taken over on a ten-year lease by John MacDonald, managing director of the Spalding Hotel for the previous ten years. The $10,000 improvements to the 105-room hotel featured new furniture and carpets in all the rooms.

A Mr. and Mrs. Harold Paschke bought the hotel in March, 1944. The Lincoln featured a dining room located directly off the lobby, and was a popular spot for wedding parties and civic dinner gatherings.

This might only interest me, but at some point around 1955 my father recalls staying at the Lincoln with his mother while she was in Duluth for an operation (he saw the exterior pictures and remembered it from his boyhood!) weird. Anyway, the Pashkes sold the hotel in October 1959 to "Minneapolis interests," whatever the hell that means.

In the following years, the hotel apparently began a slow decline toward oblivion. It seems to have been a scummy flophouse of sorts for a while, and then was reportedly vacated sometime in the 70's.

On October 27, 2000 the Hotel Lincoln was ordered condemned and unfit for human habitation. Due to fire damage sustained November 27, 2000 and on prior unrecorded events, with resulting dilapidation, Duluth ordered the Lincoln Hotel to be demolished no later than January 5, 2001.


Well, we visited it in November of 2002, and it was still standing somehow. The locals stay away from the building, saying that they've heard it has a "bad rep," and there are abundant rumors of dangerous homeless people living within.

An employee of the Ripsaw, Duluth's alternative paper, tells me that due to the Lincoln's historic value, the city has been reluctant to tear it down.

However, the city of Duluth acquired some federal funds to demolish a box factory on the West End of town, and whatever money is left over from that will apparently be going towards razing the Hotel Lincoln, which we had so much fun exploring.