The ornate canopy outside the historic Greysolon Plaza in downtown Duluth, Minnesota has been replaced. The new canopy was completed nearly two years after the original one collapsed on the brick sidewalk on East Superior Street.
The old canopy had elaborate terra cotta decorative fixtures. It was part of the original building, which opened in 1925 as the Hotel Duluth. The canopy collapsed on December 28, 2013, probably due to the weight of snow and years of wear and tear.
Many people thought that after the canopy collapsed it would not be replaced due to the high cost, or that it would be replaced with a simpler and less expensive version. However, the owner of the building, Sherman Associates, wanted to restore the canopy. The owner of the company, George Sherman, and his team decided to recreate the canopy in its original form despite the high price tag, which was about $500,000.
Crews working on the project conducted research and decided to rebuild the canopy using new materials, including terra cotta. They matched the colors and replicated the designs using salvaged pieces.
The reconstruction began in June with the installation of a metal frame. The terra cotta was installed in phases over the next several months. A new roof, ceiling lighting, and electricity were also installed. The work was completed recently when a new Greysolon Plaza sign was added that looks like the original sign. The restoration of the canopy is the latest in a series of recent improvements to the area known as Old Downtown.