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Restoring a Duluth Landmark

Posted by Jon Kreye on
Restoring a Duluth Landmark

It doesn’t take much more than a minute of time spent along the shoreline of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, to feel something special. The strong, industrial architecture, the nature — beautifully peaceful while forcefully spirited — and the residents, with offerings of Minnesota Nice mixed with the heartiness of a community proud of their city. 

The piece that ties the city of Duluth together so profoundly is its extensive history. Everywhere you turn, you are met with reminders of the old shipping town, still equipped and maintaining its reputation in the shipping industry, but continuing to grow into so much more. 

Pier B deck overlooking Lake Superior and barge

Along the harbor, not 20 feet from Lake Superior’s shoreline, rests an important piece of this history. Four 100-foot-tall adjoined silos can still be found standing boldly along the lake’s edge. Constructed in 1920 to store powdered cement, a key ingredient in making concrete, these silos were an essential component to what was at the time referred to as Pier B, a pier originally built in 1890 to facilitate the storage of limestone. Pier B was utilized for various operations including the loading of trains and trucks for bulk distribution until 2008. At this time, operations moved to an alternative site, and the once bustling pier was left quiet.

Pier B Resort, lakefront, boats

As the tides changed, local developers recognized the tremendous development potential of the site. They saw the opportunity to restore an incredible landmark of Duluth’s history, contribute positively to the environment by cleaning and restoring the land affected by the shipping industry for over 100 years, and create new city growth potential in the form of a resort hotel that would bring people from near and far to enjoy together the beauty and wonder of Lake Superior. And with that, Pier B Resort Hotel, along with the adjoining Silos Restaurant, was born. The getaway destination later opened in summer 2016.

Burger on a plate in restaraunt

The only hotel on the harbor side of the Aerial Lift Bridge, Pier B Resort Hotel proudly offers 7.4 acres of land for guests to explore — as well as a boat slip and water access for those looking for adventure on the largest of the Great Lakes. Providing guests the room to roam on-site, Pier B offers amenities that include bikes and pedal carts, paddleboats, boards, an outdoor sports court pavilion and more. And with 360-degree views of the impressive harbor and breathtaking Duluth hillside, guests experience the perfect backdrop for their getaway. 

The presence of an always-steaming outdoor hot tub, fire pits nestled on the harbor-facing lawn, or Silos Restaurant with patio dining outside, or tall windows for diners to gaze through from within, allows respite for those who wish to relax or spend some quality time making low-key memories with those they love most. 

Hot tub in front of Canal Park Lift Bridge in Duluth, Minnesota

Once placed at the center of Duluth’s shipping industry, Pier B is a perfect home base for North Shore adventures off-site. Because it’s located in the heart of Duluth, visitors are just a short distance from local trails, sightseeing destinations, and Duluth’s Canal Park and downtown restaurants and businesses.

Pier B Resort Hotel is ever changing, growing, and adapting with the goal of creating opportunities for guests and locals alike to make memories while on their property — similar to Duluth, a city continually striving to advance with its residents, visitors and the world around it. Advances that will continue to endure as time goes on, and today will become the history that future Duluthians look back upon so fondly.

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Read more of our stories in Issue 19 of Lake and Company.

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