DULUTH – Visitors will soon be able to sleep in the former council chambers when a 13-room boutique hotel opens this summer in Duluth's historic Old City Hall.
"We are designing the space to bring the stories of Duluth to life in a big bold way," owner Rod Raymond said in a news release. "The interior design blends the glamour of the Roaring '20s with bright contemporary art, against a Romanesque backdrop, telling a new story of vibrancy and abundance for the future of Duluth."
The Oliver Traphagen-designed building at 132 E. Superior St. served as City Hall from 1889 to 1926, according to Zenith City Press, and was purchased by the owners of Fitger's Brewhouse in 2005. The building was extensively renovated and has been home to several restaurants and an event center in recent years.
Work on converting the second floor into hotel rooms was set to begin this week, Raymond said, with the goal of opening to guests by early summer.
Four of the rooms will be "affordable hostel-style" accommodations, while the Council Chamber Suite will sleep up to six and include a fireplace, bar and views of Lake Superior.
The building has retained much of its historical character, with polished wood floors and darkly stained trim evoking the era it served as a booming city's seat of government. Arola Architecture "took extraordinary effort to preserve the historic elements of this significant building," Raymond said.
Raymond's company, Just Take Action, is headquartered in Old City Hall. In addition to Fitger's Brewhouse, Just Take Action also owns Burrito Union on the East Hillside and the Rathskeller speakeasy in the basement of Old City Hall.
When the hotel opens, the Wasabi restaurant, Rathskeller and Evolve hot yoga and spin studio will remain in the building, which sits across the street from the Fond-du-Luth Casino. A name for the hotel will be released in the coming weeks, Raymond said.
Raymond led the conversion of Canal Park's Endion Station into a five-room boutique hotel in 2019.
Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496