Rebuilding a distinctive six-story marquee tower that once fronted Duluth's NorShor Theatre will be a part of a $19 million reservation of the 1910s-era building, the developer said.
Developer George Sherman of Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates confirmed the plan to rebuild the marquee Tuesday after speaking to a sold-out Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, the Duluth News Tribune reported.
Sherman said the restoration will begin in August and will take about 14 months. He said the company will try to duplicate the art deco-style tower that was removed decades ago.
In its day, the 64-foot-tall lighted tower with the theater's name could be seen miles away.
Local preservationist Tony Dierckins, co-author of "Lost Duluth," said he was excited to hear that the tower marquee would be rebuilt.
"That's great! That's fantastic!" Dierckins said. "That was the one thing we never thought to wish for. That will make it worthwhile. To me, that would really bring it all back together. Otherwise, the exterior would look cleaner but not so much different than it does now."
The NorShor will be managed and operated by the Duluth Playhouse community theater organization after the renovations.
Sherman has acquired or worked on about a dozen buildings in Duluth since the 1990s, including several schools converted to apartments and construction of a $40 million Sheraton Hotel.
Sherman Associates will continue to invest $20 million to $40 million a year in Duluth, Sherman said.