Updated: 01/08/2014 6:20 PM
Created: 01/08/2014 4:23 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
Winter in the Northland means most construction plans are on hold, unless you are building with ice. Habitat for Humanity is trading in their traditional tools and building an ice "house" at Fitger's for the month of January.
Students from Harbor City International School helped with the building, and Carlson Refrigeration/Lakeshore Ice donated 500 blocks of ice to the project, but Mother Nature helped out, too.
Daryl Yankee's work with Habitat for Humanity is usually pretty serious, building well-heated homes for low income buyers. But in front of Fitger's, there are no building permits to adhere to while building with ice.
"This one's free! If you can move it, you can have it," said the organization's executive director.
It's not your typical house, but it does have a roof and walls. No family will be living in the structure, instead, Habitat will use the ice "house" for the month of January as a way to raise awareness and explain their mission.
Right now, it's a work in progress. The weather has set construction back a few days.
"We had big build days planned for Sunday, Monday and yesterday, and obviously had to put those on hold because it can be too cold to build an ice house," said Yankee.
But they have big plans for all 700 blocks of ice.
"Broc never gave us an actual drawing, so it's all up here [in his head]," he said.
Broc Allen is a local artist who works at Fitger's Brewhouse. He is the mastermind behind the design.
"It's something, in theory, that one of us could stay in over night but I don't know if any of us are going to brave it," said Allen.
Thanks to the weather, Duluth has plenty of ice to work with, but Allen said it can be hard to work with because it's heavy. An ice block made from a 5 gallon bucket is 40 pounds.
The building tools are simple, just a lot of 5 and 4 gallon buckets. Then, it's a lot of trips to the faucet and back outside to freeze.
"Once they are frozen to a certain point [we] take them inside, un-mold them, carry them back outside, and then they are ice," explained Allen.
With ice in abundance, Yankee said the house will keep growing all month.
"It will be here for folks to enjoy until Mother Nature takes it," he said.
Home tours will begin this Thursday and continue Thursday-Friday from 6-8 p.m. and Saturdays 12-5 p.m. through January 25.
This Saturday, Fitger's will host a campfire and warm beverages from 2-4 p.m.
Monument to Honor Former POWs and David Wheat
There's an effort underway to build a monument to honor all POWs from the Northland, including Commander David Wheat, of Duluth.
Fighting for Amelia
The Hibbing community will rally around the Weaver family to help raise money for their seven-year-old daughter Amelia. She suffers from a rare and catastrophic form of epilepsy. You too can help by donating online.
Chisholm Gas Station Robbed
Chisholm Police are looking for the person who robbed a gas station early Thursday morning. It happened at the Freedom Value Station at the corner of 1st Avenue and Lake Street at about 4:55 a.m.
City of Duluth Seeks Input from Community
It's Community Development Day in Duluth, and city leaders are turning to the community to help determine how federal funding should be distributed. It's the 40th anniversary of community investments made through the federal Community Development Block Grant program.
TIF Plan Will Help Developers Build New Waterfront Hotel
A new hotel near Bayfront Park is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Duluth Economic Development Authority unanimously approved a Tax Increment Financing plan for the Pier B project.