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History

of the Depot Foundation

The original Historic Union Depot is a Chateau French-Normandy stylized building on 6th Avenue West and Michigan Street in Duluth, Minnesota designed by Peabody & Stearns and completed in 1893 for about $600,000.  The building, purchased by Saint Louis County, was converted with assistance of the Junior League and many volunteer community members as a center for arts and history.

The Depot Foundation was established March 1979 due to the fund-raising efforts of Elizabeth & John Adams as a charitable, non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Minnesota with a purpose to receive, invest and disburse funds on behalf of the arts and heritage of the Duluth community and greater surrounding area with the help of Dorothy Congdon, Karen Fillenworth, John C. Hunner, Arthur C. Josephs, Sylvester Laskin, Caroline Marshall, Julia Marshall, Donald B. Shank, and Donald Wirtanen. Elected President: Don Wirtanen, Vice President: Arthur Josephs, Secretary: Karen Fillenworth, and Treasurer: Robert Fischer.

Today, the Depot Foundation has an endowment of over $6 million to protect the Depot and assist the artistic and historical organizations housed there.

Currently, the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center – Historic Union Depot is home to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum & the North Shore Scenic Railroad, Duluth Art Institute, The St. Louis County Historical Society, and The Duluth Playhouse which celebrates its 106th anniversary in 2020 and is the oldest continuously operating community theatre in Minnesota

The Prindle/Wood Family Memorial Endowment was established by Cornelius A. Wood in 1996 to endow scientific, literary, artistic, cultural and educational purposes of the Depot Foundation.

The Julia Newell Marshall Youth Art Fund was established by Marshall family representatives Patricia Lenz and Michael Spencer in 1999. This fund benefits youth art education at the Duluth Art Institute.

The Depot Foundation’s first annual Arts and Culture Awards were presented in 2000. These awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in the areas of initiative, community enrichment, historic preservation, artist, lifetime artist, and lifetime achievement. Each year this event honors outstanding community members as the recipients of The Depot Foundation Arts and Culture Award.

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