Draining Zenith City
Duluth, MN


Duluthians have seen it before, even if they have never noticed it. Any map of Duluth shows a plethora of streams and creeks flowing down the hill when, suddenly, each disappears into a street name: the sign of the culvert!

Hand-shooting 4x5 underground. Must be Kate Hunter.
Hand-shooting 4×5 underground. Must be Kate Hunter.

The Zenith City has more than twenty creeks determined to find their way to Lake Superior, and each passes through a specialized tunnel somewhere along its way. As the city expanded, so did the need for land; packaging the streams in concrete and stone and burying them is one simple way to do that.

Three creeks, Chester, Brewery and Clark House, have made a particular impact on Duluth’s development. Of course, I couldn’t stop there, though… read on…

References »

  • The Budgeteer 25 Sept. 1974. Web.
  • Engineering-contracting 39 (1913): 47. Web.
  • In The Tunnels. WDIO, 2013. Film.
  • Various. (1904-1974). Duluth News Tribune.
  • Various. (1880-1888). Duluth Daily News.