Construction Zone: Mixed-use office and residential building
What: Mixed-use office and residential building Where: 722 E. Superior St. Project: The building, which was severely damaged by fire, is being restored to its pre-fire appearance. An apartment and garage damaged by fire will be gutted and rebuilt...
What: Mixed-use office and residential building
Where: 722 E. Superior St.
Project: The building, which was severely damaged by fire, is being
restored to its pre-fire appearance. An apartment and garage damaged by fire will be gutted and rebuilt, and the roof removed and replaced. The smoke-damaged office area will be thoroughly cleaned and repainted.
Owners: Jack and Barbara Arnold General Contractor: Builders Commonwealth of Duluth
Timeline: Construction work, which began Nov. 22, will be completed in the spring.
Occupants: The CPA firm of Esterbrooks Scott Signorelli Peterson & Smithson occupied the Superior Street level. The building owners had lived in the first level apartment overlooking Lake Superior for the past 30 years. All plan to move back when their areas are restored.
Making headlines: The fire, which started early Oct. 19, made front page news when the owners got out safely after being awakened by their dog. The fire started in the kitchen and spread through one end of the apartment and up an elevator shaft and stairway to the garage. Flames, heat and smoke blocked the couple's escape route. They managed to get out on their deck with their dog, where they were rescued by firefighters.
Project cost: Still being determined, but initial damage estimates for the structure alone were placed at $250,000.
Building history: The yellow brick building was built in
1931 by Standard Oil. It was a service station until the 1950s, then a tire-recapping facility. The Arnolds bought the building in the late 1970s when it was just an open warehouse and began a 20-year-plus effort transforming it into offices and their home.
Concrete forms in what appears to be an American Indian design are original to the building. Arnold doesn't know why the building sports those
designs. An aficionado of old service stations, he had never seen such a design used before on one.
"It was just that way, but it was very attractive to me," said Arnold, who painted the forms to add emphasis.
Of special interest: The former gas station that Arnold calls home isn't the first vintage gas station Arnold has purchased and adapted for new uses. In the early 1970s, he bought the former service station at 805 E. Superior St. that was built in 1939 by Pure Oil in one of its cottage designs. Arnold turned it into Sir Benedict's Tavern on the Lake, which he formerly owned and operated.
"I have a fetish for service stations, he said.
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