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
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
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,
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.
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.
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.