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Across the harbor from its more famous twin Duluth lies Superior, Wisconsin. A city of about 27,000, Superior is often regarded as a ghetto or land of bars, liquor stores, grocery stores selling beer, and gas stations vending wild rice, cheese curds, donuts, and full-strength beer, but there's more to "Soup-Town" than just this, and it's looking quite a bit better than in the past - as it should, as this former contender for a Chicago-class population has been losing residents even faster than its sister across the bay.

We start our photo tour on a positive note. Tower Avenue was an ugly thorough-way, a wretched four- or five-lane street lined with bars, where, as I joked, even the aging sidewalks were drunk. The bars are still there, but the streetscape is vastly improved as the result of construction last summer (2013). There's attractive red bricks, planters, and chairs for the pedestrians, as well as bike lanes for cyclists. A similar project targeted select portions of West Duluth's Grand Avenue in 2005.


Pedestrian Amenities on Tower Avenue (WI 35) in Superior, Wisconsin por tvdxer, en Flickr

Now look at the same street in 2005:


Superior Wisc Tower Ave 2005 por tvdxer, en Flickr

Some other photos of the street, taken 2 days ago:


Superior - Ghost Sign.jpg por tvdxer, en Flickr


Superior - Who's Bar and Grill por tvdxer, en Flickr


Superior - Tower Ave 2014 por tvdxer, en Flickr

Inside one of the denser neighborhoods:


Residential Area, Superior, Wisconsin por tvdxer, en Flickr

Superior's Old Public Library. This is selling for $125,000. The new public library is a 1970's monstrosity.


Old Public Library, Superior, Wisconsin por tvdxer, en Flickr

People's Drug Store - one of the small number of family-run pharmacies in the area.


People's Drug Store, Superior, Wisconsin por tvdxer, en Flickr


Superior - Ghost Sign.jpg por tvdxer, en Flickr

Located among houses, the Douglas County Museum:


Douglas County Historical Museum por tvdxer, en Flickr

Christ the King Cathedral, head of the Diocese of Superior:


Cathedral, Superior, Wisconsin por tvdxer, en Flickr

Frankie's Leather, next to Frankie's Bar:


Frankie's Leather and Frankie's Bar por tvdxer, en Flickr

MaMa's Bar:


Mama's Bar, Superior, Wisconsin por tvdxer, en Flickr

View from Superior of Duluth, shrouded in fog, with a gigantic ship in the harbor:


View ahead of Duluth shrouded in fog, from Superior, Wisconsin por tvdxer, en Flickr

That's all for today.
 

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Love those pics. I used to live in the U.P. back in the early 80's. These places remind me so much of up there. Would like to take my wife all over the U.P. and Superior and Duluth.
 

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Thanks for the phototour tvdxer! Superior honestly isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be — it just needs a little bit of a facelift, really.

With the whole Twin Ports region being such a tourist haven these days, I'm honestly surprised that there's still so much decay. If I could afford it, I'd love to have a summer home up there.
 

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Wisconsin does streetscaping projects better more consistently than any other state I know. Wisconsin's small downtowns that have completed streetscaping projects within the past 10 years (and there's LOTS of them in Wisconsin) all look like destination places that I would love to visit. I'm missing that aspect now that I've moved to Washington.

Great photos, thanks for the tour!
 

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I remember driving across "the bridge" from Duluth to Superior on my way to the National Guts Frisbee Championships being held in the U.P. What I do remember was after getting off the bridge turning left was all the bars as it was at night when I went through. It is a beautiful area and it is great to see the efforts being made to bring the core to life.
I just noticed in the photos those oil cars going through town, they seem to be everywhere now as we had some derail just yesterday in Seattle and they were talking about the increase of oil cars since N. Dakota has become a center for production and the dangers of transporting it through urban areas. (Just a side note:
 

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I remember driving across "the bridge" from Duluth to Superior on my way to the National Guts Frisbee Championships being held in the U.P. What I do remember was after getting off the bridge turning left was all the bars as it was at night when I went through. It is a beautiful area and it is great to see the efforts being made to bring the core to life.
I just noticed in the photos those oil cars going through town, they seem to be everywhere now as we had some derail just yesterday in Seattle and they were talking about the increase of oil cars since N. Dakota has become a center for production and the dangers of transporting it through urban areas. (Just a side note:
The oil trains debate is a huge problem in Minnesota (and Wisconsin) as well, as it possibly has the highest % of freight transport from the Bakken region. The Bakken is simply in the middle of fucking nowhere, that's all there is to it. It's incredibly far and difficult to traverse over the Rockies and Cascades to the Pacific, and it's also quite far South to the Gulf, so Lake Superior and Superior, WI end up being major terminus points for much of the Bakken oil that's shipped by headed for the sea. Exploding trains and preexisting freight controls are a major discussion point for people who live in towns along the corridors, including major metropolises like Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul. For example, in a St. Paul rail yard BNSF wants to EXTEND/ADD longer tracks to fit more of the mile-long+ oil trains. Residents are wary, and it's one of the only examples I've ever heard of a rail yard is being EXPANDED, not left for dead or redeveloped, though I'm sure the situation is similar in other regions as well. It's not just trains either, but also pipes and trucks as well.

Great photos by the way! I love that area and if/when Climate Change makes life in that region (Upper Great Lakes region, like Duluth and the UP of MI) more tolerable I could easily see a population explosion and rebirth of those towns in the future........possibly the not-too-distant future, to boot! I could see population shifts as early as 10-15 years.
 
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