Rated THE BEST railroad museum in the country, the Lake Superior Railroad Museum houses historic rail artifacts from Minnesota and across the country.
The Duluth Art Institute enriches daily life with dynamic, innovative arts programming that upholds excellence and promotes active community participation with galleries open every day.
Beautiful collections of historical artifacts from St. Louis County and the area. With exhibits ranging from the Forest History Gallery, to other rotating exhibits.
The Veterans’ Memorial Hall is a program of the St. Louis County Historical Society that explores the diverse human experiences of veterans, their families,
|Adults||14 and over||$12.00 each|
2 yrs and under
|AAA and AARP Memberships||
|10% off each|
10 or more: $1 off
To schedule a
(Memorial Day - Labor Day)
(Labor Day to memorial day)
7 Days Per Week
9:00am - 6:00pm
9am - 5:00pm
Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas day
Train rides along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Superior. Narrated excursions from one-hour to full day trips, with special events all summer. All trains depart from the Duluth Depot.
The Duluth Playhouse offers exceptional entertainment, training, and performance opportunities in theater arts that may inspire, challenge, and engage the region we serve.
The Underground is the Duluth Playhouse's event space located in the Duluth Depot. A smaller theater featuring a wide variety of performances, and daily entertainment all summer long.
Matinee Musicale provides musical programs to conduct artistic, cultural, educational, and charitable activities. Offices located in the Duluth Depot.
Minnesota Ballet is the only professional ballet company in NE Minnesota and is based in Duluth. The Minnesota Ballet tours internationally performing classical and contemporary repertoire.
The Arrowhead Chorale is a vocal ensemble located in the Duluth Depot. They are a non-profit organization consisting of 24 singers.
With an operating historical archive, the SLCHS takes exquisite care to curate artifacts, and works to grow areas such as the Albert J. Amatuzio Research Center to preserve and make history available.
For over 100 years the Duluth Art Institute has been providing visual arts programming to the region encompassing Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin through exhibitions & education.
The member supported and operated Railroad Museum greets thousands of visitors of all ages throughout the year that tour the ever-changing displays both indoors and out..
The Perfect Place for Ceremony & Reception
Unique for Receptions, Dinners, and fun!
Sleek, Modern, Classic Space
Meetings, Prep Area, Comfortable
Space for Discussion & Presentation
Unique, Fun, & Scenic
"Between Ballet classes, the Playhouse and the Museums, my kids practically grew up at the Depot, we're very fortunate to have such a wonderful resource in our community."
"This is our story, they told me. Hell, this is everyone's story."
Museum guest in 2013
"the Lake Superior Railroad Museum is one of the ten finest train museums in North America."
Jim Wrinn, the Editor of TRAINS Magazine
The Duluth Depot was built in 1892, served seven different rail lines, and accommodated 5,000 passengers. In 1973 it re-opened, housing the Duluth Art Institute, Lake Superior Railroad Museum, St. Louis County Historical Society, and five performing arts organizations.
Between 1977 and 1985 it served Amtrak's Arrowhead (Minneapolis–Duluth) and North Star (Chicago–Duluth).
Renovations to the Duluth Depot have been proposed to serve the Northern Lights Express
rail service from Minneapolis to Duluth.
After a huge population boom in the late 1880's, Duluth and Railroad leaders quickly realized the need for a larger station...continue reading here.
At its peak, the Union Depot served 7 Railroads and could accomidate over 5,000 passengers a day. Read more.
Duluth, Depot, Attraction, Event Space ×
Published on January 21st by Admin Category: Photography, Website Design minimal, web, design, inspiration×
Great Hall Level 3 Capacity 250 seated, 400 standing Staging area, PA System, Handicap Accessable
This is the wedding space you've been looking for, with its 88-foot ceiling and two original brick fireplaces, the Depot's Great Hall will add elegance and charm to the special occasion. Consider the Depot for wedding receptions, ceremony, and more!
Staging space is available that catering services can use. We have no contracts with any services, so this keeps the options (and prices) wide open for you!
Space for your guests to wander, dance, and enjoy.
Ask about adding the Lake Superior Railroad Museum as an option for coctail hours or just a fun additional area to explore!
Click Here for more!
Level 1 Capacity 250+ Prep areas, displays, kids areas, unique setting.
The Railroad Museum is a very cool space to have a classic area for an event. To accomidate events of all kinds, we can setup tables for dinners, coctail tables, and many more options.
Keep your guests entertained with all the displays and other areas to explore in the Railroad Museum, and enjoy this fantastic backdrop for your special event.
Ride the train too! Many groups charter private rides on the North Shore Scenic Railroad and then return to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum for reception time.
To reserve the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, contact Mary Karl: 218-733-7503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Level 1 and 2 Capacity Mezz: 150 Theater: 150/300 Prep rooms, audio system, adjustable seating.
The mission of The Underground is to serve as a community meeting place for culture, conversation, for arts and education, offering diverse programming to foster the artistic and intellectual life of Northern Minnesota/Wisconsin.
The Underground is the satellite theater of The Duluth Playhouse, and when it’s not hosting a production or series of its own, it’s a perfect and unique event space to host your special event. The Underground has hosted everything from business workshops, community presentations, to wedding receptions, and holiday parties. The space is reconfigurable, so it can be an open room, set up with round tables/chairs, or be set up in a theatre style seating—thrust configuration, or in the round. Please note: Rental availably depends on the season theater schedule.
Special LED lighting can be programmed to colors of your choosing and reflect on the historic brick, giving your event have a unique extra touch.
The Underground has a full liquor license so cash and open bar options are available for your rental.
For more information, or a rental application, please contact Producing Director, Crystal Pelkey, at email@example.com.
Level 3 Capacity: 24 at table, 20 more seats Huge table, comfy seats, natural light.
The Board Room is an exclusive place for meetings. Since the Depot's construction, major decisions have been made in this room that have influenced the entire region.
For a nominal fee, this space is available for you to meet. Telephone lines are available for teleconferencing.
Preparing for an event elsewhere in the building? This space also works great for a "getting ready" area.
Level 1 Capacity: 40 Adjustable arrangement, blank wall for projection, lots of outlets!
This space is by far the most popular meeting room in the building. Perfect for small group discussions, large meetings, training seminars, or preperation area for other events in the building.
Seating and tables are easy to move around, or remove depending on the setup you would like for your event.
Named after Ruth Maney, a philanthropist who made alot of aspects of the Duluth Depot possible.
Track 26 miles Capacity up to 800 Fancy or simple, bars, food, dining, and more.
Take your event out on the North Shore Scenic Railroad for a truely memorable experience riding the rails. Ride times can varry depending on what you want to do.
Pricing is structured so that you can join public excursions as a group, or charter your own train on your own schedule, there are many possiblities to making your event taylored to what you're looking to do.
Over the years, the North Shore Scenic Railroad has hosted weddings, major company and political events, school groups, community events, church fundraisers, tours, and much more.
Contact Josh Miller, Station Manager for more information:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.duluthtrains.com
By Kim Schandel About Duluth Union Depot construction
Built on the site of the original wood-framed Depot of 1870, this magnificent building sprung up on the edge of the lake, and opened its doors to the world in 1892. Not only does this Union Depot serve 7 rail lines, with up to 50 trains arriving and departing daily, it also becomes a temporary haven to the early immigrants arriving from distant lands.
Architects, Peabody & Sterns of Boston, designed an elaborate French Norman-style building using many local materials quarried at the time such as granite, sandstone and yellow brick. The magnitude and influence of the railroad industry is evident with the dramatic towers and steep roof design seen on many other grand stations of the day.
The historical elements of the era all come together in the building’s design with architectural concepts to depict Duluth’s emerging population: strong, adventurous individuals who travel the seas to arrive in a rugged, but beautiful area to establish a new life. With a castle-like appearance and style – the Depot was designed to greet its guests with a romantic and impressionable welcoming.
Construction took nearly two years, at the cost of $615,000. The original wooden depot remained throughout construction, resting in the center of the tracks under the train shed, until operations could safely be transferred to the new station. It was then disassembled. The original depot location is now home to the LSRM model railroad building.
The first train departed the new Depot in March of 1892, and it continued to serve seven railroads: Duluth & Iron Range, Duluth Missabe & Northern, Duluth Superior & Western, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, St. Paul & Duluth, and the Duluth South Shore & Atlantic until the last train departed in 1969. It ended a century-long era of sky’s the limit development & rail transportation.
The Depot will eventually be placed on the National & State Register of Historic Places, after it survives potential demolition, and is saved by the citizens of Duluth. It will become home to many historical and performing arts organizations and be valued by the community forever.
Growth and Why the Duluth Union Depot was Built:
CENSUS POPULATION 1860 71 1870 3,131 1880 3,483 1890; 33,115 1900 52,969 1910 78,466 1920 98,917 1930 101,453 1960 107,312 1970 100,578 2000 86,918 2010 86,265
ByJosh Miller About: Construction & Early Days of the Duluth Depot up until Amtrak
This building is actually the second depot built on this site.
The first was built in 1869 and was a small wooden building. That same year a large group of Swedish immigrants arrived in Duluth.
They traveled here for a chance to work on the construction of the first railroad line in Duluth, the Lake Superior and Mississippi.
The First passenger train arrived in Duluth the following year. Within the next twenty years the population of Duluth grew and number
of railroad lines served the area. In 1891 ground was broken for the Duluth Union Depot the Depot you see today.
In its heyday the Depot served seven different railroad lines and housed the railroad offices, a newsstand, barber shop, parcel room and lunch room. By the turn of the century the building handled 26 trains a day. Passenger service began to decline in the middle of the century and the building saw its last train in 1969. The Depot was then slated for demolition but was saved by the people of Duluth and was placed on the national register of historic places in 1971.
Amtrak started passenger service departing from the Duluth Depot in 1974, offering daily service to St. Paul. This service was extremely popular and continued into the mid 1980s, when political restructuring and other cutbacks in service ended Amtrak’s 10 year stay in the twin ports. The last Amtrak passenger train left Duluth on Easter Sunday, 1985.
By Ken Buehler About: Restoring the Duluth Depot to Today
In the winter of 1969 a lone BUDD Rail Diesel Car, with less than ten people on board, departed Duluth’s Union Depot on its final run to meet the Northern Pacific’s North Coast Limited in Staples, MN for the latter’s run to the West Coast. None of the people on board that train would continue on, they just wanted to say they were the last to ride a passenger train out of Duluth. While AMTRAK later ran trains from Duluth, this was the last of conventional railroad service that began for the Depot when it first opened in 1892.
By 1969 local passenger trains of the SOO Line, Omaha, Milwaukee Road, DM&IR and Great Northern had all faded into what composer Steve Goodman wrote, in “The City of New Orleans”; “This trains got the disappearing Railroad Blues.” Arlo Guthrie and others would make that song a hit in the same year that AMTRAK was formed, 1971.
A year earlier, on March 2, 1970, the Great Northern merged with the Northern Pacific the CB&Q and the SP&S to former the Burlington Northern Railroad, today’s BNSF. That meant that the building which is now the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center, the Depot, instantly became “surplus property” and was meant for disposal.
Between the coming of AMTRAK and more railroad mergers, there was no shortage of “surplus property” that the railroads were looking to unload to get off the tax rolls. Communities across America were offered everything from Depot’s to Freight Houses, to cabooses and even old office buildings. The only questions was; what to do with them?
Four people in Duluth figured it out. They were Don Shank, Vice President and General Manager of the DM&IR, his assistant and railroad historian Frank King, Wayne Olson, who was a railroad enthusiast and worked for the City of Duluth and a local attorney, Leo McDonnell, who would become the St. Louis County Attorney.
They envisioned a place where the area’s finest Arts, Culture and History Organizations could move into and live rent free, allowing them to use valuable resources to better serve their missions to grow and become the heart and soul of Arts, Culture and History in our area. The free rent would be possible because of public support and because guest/visitors, then called tourists, would pay to see what these men, and early volunteers like them, would build into a world class railroad museum, originally named the Lake Superior Museum of Transportation, it is today’s Lake Superior Railroad Museum.
Working with long time Congressman John Blatnik, Mayor Ben Boo and St. Louis County Commissioners, the work began. First they had to own the building. Duluth’s Junior League undertook a Twin Ports and County wide campaign to raise the quarter million dollars that the building, which was in excellent condition, and for the time being, was still being occupied by the railroad, would cost. It was a bargain!
Once that was accomplished the founders raised $4.7 million dollars in grants to start the refurbishing of the structure and start building the train shed for the Railroad Museum. The work was not easy and it easily overshot their budget. Many local, regional and national companies rushed in to help finish the dream any way they could. They donated railroad equipment, they restored that equipment, and railroads sponsored train trips on their lines and brought in First Class equipment from their remaining passenger fleets to operate these excursions. They contributed large amounts of cash, employee time and in-kind services. All the money went to build out the Depot and establish the Museum.
These founders, and there were many of them not mentioned by name, like Marilyn Persch, who contributed time, talent and treasure to the project. However, none of them were thinking about that day, those months and years or their time, they were thinking about the future and what the Depot would be like and represent twenty, thirty years in the future.
Today the Depot is a Community Treasure on the National Register of Historic Places, a beautifully restored building used for a wide range of events, over a quarter of a million people come here a year!
The Depot houses four Museum’s including a world class Railroad Museum and is home to America’s longest, continuous running Community Playhouse and has the training and coaching studios the nationally acclaimed Minnesota Ballet. The Duluth Art Institute is one of only two FREE art galleries in the Twin Ports. The St. Louis County Historical Society is the Northeastern Minnesota’s most valuable attic. The Arrowhead Chorale and Matinee Musicale offer a wide range of musical selections.
Simply put, the Duluth Depot is the Heart and Soul of Arts Culture and History for our region! Ken Buehler