Dan Whittaker, Designer

PROJECT PORTFOLIO: Residence- Seventh Street, East End, Duluth

"Greetings From Duluth!" This historic home in Duluth's East End neighborhood had seen better days. Built in 1911 as the estate for M.H. Alworth, a lumber, real estate and mining baron, the home passed through the generations up until 1953- when it was donated to the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Finding not much use for a single-family 8,500 square foot home on two-thirds of a city block, the University quickly converted the home into an eight unit apartment building to function as temporary housing for new faculty. Much of the original woodwork, built-in furniture and character of the house was lost during this massive "re-muddling". Decades later, the building was home to the UMD hockey team, and needless to say, in bad need of repair. Beginning in 1991, an extensive restoration campaign was initiated by the new owners of the property wishing to return the structure to its original grandeur. Eight vintage 1953 kitchenettes were removed along with a near half-century of accumulated layers of worn carpet, false partitions and inappropriate fixtures. Nearly two and a half years later, after a complete restoration, the house is one again a single-family home. New moldings were milled to compliment original fragments, woodwork was stripped of mustard yellow paint and re-stained to reveal the delicate quarter-sawn mahogany grain. The original spiral staircase, which twisted up all three levels of the house was striped, restored and now is the center point of this magnificent home.

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