Save the Two Harbors roundhouse?

A Two Harbors businessman is making a pitch to save the city’s historic roundhouse and renovate it to house a modern manufacturing facility. The Duluth News Tribune has the story.

Normally this might not make the blog, but for this quote from the developer, John Ilse:

Ilse isn’t accustomed to being on the side of preservation in a demolition debate. In fact, much of his work as an engineer has been on tear-down projects. He’s knocked down water towers, grain silos and bridges. The roundhouse, he said, is different.

“Maybe I have a guilty conscience because of all the things I’ve destroyed,” he quipped.

Ha ha! I love quips. If I could tamp down the laughs for a minute I will say that this would be a preferable way to preserve the spirit of these small rural-industrial towns up here in Northern Minnesota. Fifty years from now we could to be driving through a sea of bland Morton buildings wondering what our ancestors stood for. Maybe nothing?

In any event, the city seems cool to the idea, if only because other developers are interested in the land and would need to tear down the roundhouse.

Also, you can tell my kids are getting older because I did not use a Thomas the Tank Engine motif for this post. The fact that I’m mentioning it anyway, however, indicates how deep the trainthink has permeated my soul. 

Oh, what the heck:


  1. Matt Steele says

    Wish I had known about this sooner. It’s so sad this is being demolished. How can they even consider demolishing it?

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