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A timeline of the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center

An overhead track crane in the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center’s lobby hints at the site’s industrial background. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com1 / 5
The exterior of a building on the Clyde Iron Works property was converted into the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center. The building is now flanked by ice arenas on either side. (News Tribune file photo)2 / 5
The interior of a building on the Clyde Iron Works property -- shown here in March 2006 -- was converted into Giuliani Hall. (News Tribune file photo)3 / 5
The interior of a building on the Clyde Iron Works property was converted into Giuliani Hall. (News Tribune file photo)4 / 5
The precast concrete panels that form the area of the hockey arena at the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center are shown in September 2007. (News Tribune file photo)5 / 5


Clyde Iron sets up shop at the corner of 29th Avenue West and Michigan Street, and serves as a manufacturing hub in what is now Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood. At its peak, the business employed about 350 people making diggers and cranes, including equipment used to build the Panama Canal.

December 1986

After 98 years in business, Clyde Iron closes, laying off about 100 engineering, sales and administrative employees.

May 1987

Milton Siegel of California purchases the property, with the hopes of turning it into an industrial park. Jerry Siegel serves as manager.

May 1988

Duluth Engineering and Manufacturing Company, or DEMCO, made up of several former Clyde Iron employees, forms. The business manufactures replacement parts for Clyde's cranes.

July 2000

DEMCO closes its doors, laying off 39 employees in Duluth, but Jerry Siegel acquires DEMCO's equipment and opens a machine shop onsite called Iron Clyde — Clyde Iron backward.

May 2003

Alessandro Giuliani purchases the 10.5-acre Clyde industrial complex. At the time, he said he hopes it will grow and attract additional manufacturing jobs to the area. He also envisions restaurants, retail stores, loft studios, offices and even some residential development as part of the future mix at the Clyde Iron site.

Iron Clyde also goes out of business in 2003.

December 2004

A Zamboni explosion and subsequent fire destroys Peterson Arena, 3501 Grand Ave., on Dec. 19, 2004, leaving several youth and high school hockey teams without their home ice. An ice time shortage accelerates efforts to build a new arena and sports complex.

February 2005

Business leaders meet with the Duluth Amateur Hockey Association (DAHA) to discuss replacing the Peterson Arena. The goal is to build something bigger than a single-sport arena. Initially, the plan is to build at Wheeler Field, where Peterson once stood, in conjunction with the proposed Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.

October 2005

The former Clyde Iron Works location is identified as an alternative site for a sports center, instead of the Kroc. City officials and members of the steering committee no longer want the project to wait while the Kroc takes shape. The Kroc Center plans eventually are axed by the Salvation Army in 2007.

June 2007

Construction begins on time for the Duluth Heritage Sports Center, as it was known then. If work hadn't begun in a timely fashion, the project could, in theory, have lost the city of Duluth's $1.8 million contribution as well as about $3 million in Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development grants.

May 2008

The facility opens as the Duluth Heritage Sports Center with the Sill Arena, which can hold a crowd of 1,244. The smaller Seitz Arena, which can seat 774, opens in 2009.

June 2016

Essentia Health begins a naming rights agreement, making the center's full name the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Sports Center and later shortened to the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center.

Timeline compiled by Duluth News Tribune reporter Jimmy Lovrien using News Tribune and Duluth Herald archives.

Jimmy Lovrien

Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.