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Old January 12th, 2012, 12:08 AM   #1
Somnifor
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Duluth, Minnesota - the last port

I spent the last two days in Duluth, Minnesota and have some pictures of it. Duluth is a small city (or large town) in northern Minnesota at the western tip of Lake Superior. Its population is around 85,000 (275,000 metro).

It was founded in the mid 19th century at the western terminus of Great Lakes shipping and is one of the most inland port cities in the world. When it was founded it was thought that it would grow into a large metropolis due to its location. At first it grew quickly but when the Great Northern Railway chose St Paul instead of Duluth to be the starting point for the northern transcontinental route Duluth lost its chance for primacy in the region. After that the main drivers of its economy were the port, the iron and steel industry, and its position as the hub of northern Minnesota (which is a very sparsely populated region). As both Great Lakes shipping and the steel industry declined Duluth entered a long period of stagnation and decline, from which it is only now starting to emerge. Its post war stagnation has turned the city into a bit of a time capsule of late 19th century American architecture and urbanism.

Duluth isn't well known, even in the US, but it is an interesting place. It's vibe is a blend of rust belt hardscrabble and pre-hipster bohemian. The town is rich in eccentrics. People there are very friendly and open, random strangers will say hello to you as they pass you on the street and sometimes start up conversations out of nowhere. A lot of towns its size in the US have the feeling of Anytown, USA; Duluth is not one of those places.

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Last edited by Somnifor; January 12th, 2012 at 09:47 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #2
christos-greece
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Interesting, nice photos from Duluth
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #3
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Interesting place, I think one forumer comes from there no?

For some reason, these small US towns always remind me of South Park
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Old January 13th, 2012, 01:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eklips View Post
Interesting place, I think one forumer comes from there no?
Yeah, tvdxter or something like that. It is funny that they are one of the most conservative American posters here but Duluth is possibly the most left wing town in the US. It must drive them crazy. At least they get to live in a beautiful place.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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great photos of Duluth, looks like a sparsely populated but interesting place....thanks for sharing.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 04:08 AM   #6
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nice old city,,,,,,and it has enough industry to keep the city going.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 12:41 AM   #7
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Very interesting pictures!
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Old January 17th, 2012, 11:26 PM   #8
Somnifor
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Very interesting pictures!
It is definitely an interesting town.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 05:43 PM   #9
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Made my first visit there stopping for food and shopping on the way up to Lutzen (sp?) around New Years 2010. Was very impressed with the general form and character of the area, especially one attractive neighborhood we drove through. Looked like an ideal-sized city for the region, remote enough to shape their independence which no-doubt helped foster the nice urban form. Was surprised at how hilly it was, but the people we met were all friendly a classically Midwestern. Would enjoy tooling around there for a weekend.

Oh, and it was -7f so my poor 4 yo son, who'd never experienced much below30, just clung to me and buried his head in my chest. Fortunately it warmed up a bit for skiing.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 10:53 PM   #10
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interesting town!) but seems a little poor
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Old February 6th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #11
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Looks like a classic working class American port town, love that pic of Curly's Bar!
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Old February 7th, 2012, 12:14 AM   #12
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Wow! Very atmospheric pictures of what feels like a frontier town. You can really sense the vastness of the U.S from these pictures - with these little/not so little settlements holding on in there.

Great!
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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:23 PM   #13
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thx for uploading. Always wanted to know how this remote city looks like.

No snow on the ground? Duluth is considered to be the coldest city in the US (except Alaska and Hawaii of course).

But it isnt a wealthy city isnt it?
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Old February 8th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #14
Somnifor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunnerJacket View Post
Was very impressed with the general form and character of the area, especially one attractive neighborhood we drove through. Looked like an ideal-sized city for the region, remote enough to shape their independence which no-doubt helped foster the nice urban form. Was surprised at how hilly it was, but the people we met were all friendly a classically Midwestern. Would enjoy tooling around there for a weekend.
You should visit in august, Duluth itself is an interesting place to hang out but it is also a great base for going to the north shore, the Apostle Islands, hiking, etc.

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interesting town!) but seems a little poor
It is one of the poorest parts of Minnesota, it has had a weak economy for the last 30 years.

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Looks like a classic working class American port town...
That is exactly what it is.

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Originally Posted by openlyJane View Post
Wow! Very atmospheric pictures of what feels like a frontier town. You can really sense the vastness of the U.S from these pictures - with these little/not so little settlements holding on in there.

Great!
When you are up there it really does have the feeling of being the last outpost of civilization. The forests on the edge of the city are part of the great northern forest belt that goes all the way to the Arctic Circle, the Atlantic and the Pacific. There aren't very many roads up there and once you get off the roads it is mostly wilderness. The northeastern quarter of Minnesota is almost entirely forest. To put that in perspective Minnesota is about the same size as Great Britain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinchinlhumbe View Post
thx for uploading. Always wanted to know how this remote city looks like.

No snow on the ground? Duluth is considered to be the coldest city in the US (except Alaska and Hawaii of course).
Generally this is the coldest city in the US besides Fairbanks, Alaska, but this has been one of the warmest winters on record. They have snow in Duluth now but we still have bare ground in Minneapolis which is unheard of.

Last edited by Somnifor; February 8th, 2012 at 07:06 AM.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 10:32 PM   #15
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Duluth has some nice buildings but looks quite a rundown place!!! little bit unloved and could do with some investment.
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