abc
QUICK LINKS:

NorShor Theatre Fire Adds to Reasons Building should be Restored, City Says

Updated: 02/14/2014 6:11 PM
Created: 02/14/2014 7:19 AM WDIO.com
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

Quick action by firefighters prevented what could have become a downtown disaster. The City of Duluth says a blaze at the historic NorShor Theatre is even more reason to properly restore it.

Firefighters responded to the century-old building on East Superior Street around 4:30 Friday morning. They said the cause was a failed blower motor for the building's heating system and estimate damage at $15,000.

The fire damage was limited to one room on the upper floor behind the theatre's upper auditorium. According to Chris Eng, the executive director of the Duluth Economic Development Authority, the reason it didn't spread is because the room "is entirely made out of clay bricks and...concrete walls."

Much of the building smelled of smoke late Friday morning, but Eng said that's because the blower likely circulated it around the building quickly during the fire.

Duluth Chief Communication and Policy Officer Daniel Fanning said "the reason that these things are happening is because this building hasn't been invested in in a long time."

Fanning and Eng told Eyewitness News that the city bought the building for $2.9 million in 2010. Since then, the city has received criticism about the cost and restoration plans from some of the community and city councilors.

However, Fanning said they've got a tremendous opportunity. "We have a private developer who is stepping up in a huge way and doing a bulk of the work," he said.

According to Eng, Sherman Associates will take over the building in September, and with tax credits and private dollars, will front more than half the cost of the $22 million restoration project. The city is hoping the rest will come from the state.

"This building has a lot of integrity, a lot of character, and it's a part of the downtown that we're really trying hard to revitalize," Eng said.

Eng said construction is expected to begin in the fall.

Front Page

  • Update: Teen Killed in Douglas Co. Crash

    The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says a Lake Nebagamon teenager was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Wednesday afternoon.  15-year-old Seth N. Stariah, a passenger in one of the vehicles, was pronounced dead at the scene.

  • Workers at the NOvA hall in Ash River assemble the final block of the far detector in early February 2014, with the nearly completed detector in the background. U of M Reaches Milestone with Ash River Neutrino Detector

    The University of Minnesota is celebrating a milestone in creating an experimental particle detector that it says could eventually yield important information about the beginning of the universe.

  • Missing Employee Found at Soudan Underground Mine State Park

    Authorities have located 76-year-old Adrienne De Vries at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. De Vries is an employee of the park, and lost her way when walking down a trail. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department says she was transported to Ely Hospital to get checked as a precautionary.

  • Sky High: Northlanders Blast Off on New Flyboard

    Here in the Northland, we're used to lakes, but a new toy is changing how we enjoy the water. The flyboard is making its Twin Ports debut. It's a water jet pack on a board that is hooked up to a jet ski. The water launches you up to 55 feet in the air.

  • Democrats Vying for Wisconsin's 25th Senate District Talk Mining

    Mining is a top issue in northern Wisconsin's legislative races, and a formal debate Wednesday night was no exception. Three democrats vying for the 25th Senate District seat explained their views during a public debate at the Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland.

 
Advertisement