Brick Rolled: new look for downtown Duluth’s Superior Street

Superior Street bricks in Duluth, Minnesota. (PHOTO via Northland's NewsCenter)

Superior Street bricks in Duluth, Minnesota. (PHOTO via Northland’s NewsCenter)

The first time I went to downtown Duluth, Minnesota, I was a kid and among the things that stood out to me was the brick face of Superior Street. Whatever brick streets or sidewalks we had on the Iron Range had long been scraped up before my time and the concept was novel.

This year, after years of hemming and hawing over possibilities, it appears that the bricks of downtown Duluth really are on their way out. Tonight citizens will meet to discuss options for decorative concrete replacements, including what could become a multi-colored concrete urban design scheme.

Or, as some might call it, a different flat hard surface on which to drive and walk.

From Monday’s Peter Passi Duluth News Tribune story, here’s what Barry Warner of SRF Consulting said people have told him:

They’ve told us they want something that is durable but functional. They want something that is attractive, and they’ve used the phrase: ‘Be Duluth.’ They also want something that is flexible and that has the opportunity to be programmed for different events. They want to celebrate the four seasons and integrate public art. But they also want us to be very mindful of maintenance and snow removal and some of the other challenges that the city faces.”

That’s a lot to juggle, and as the city works to develop a thoughtful plan, the anticipated start date for the project has been pushed back from 2016 to 2017 at the earliest, [City Planner Jennifer] Reed Moses said.

The community meeting is today at 4:30 p.m. at the Great Hall of the Radisson Hotel at 505 W. Superior St. If you’ve got a strong opinion about things that are hard and flat, there’s your jam.


  1. How long has the brick adorned superior st.

    • Gerald S says

      The brick surface was installed in 1989-1991, using I-35 impact funding that also paid for much of the first phases of the Lakewalk, the Canal Park upgrades, and the parks along the highway right of way.

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