Lake Superior Plaza
Duluth’s New Front Porch
Lake Superior Plaza has long served as an important gathering space for the public in downtown Duluth. However, the plaza had not had a major renovation since it was built in 1985 and had become uninviting and not very functional. ALLETE hired LHB to help redesign the plaza as part of a larger renovation of their headquarters.
In collaboration with ALLETE and stakeholders, LHB established goals to create a more inviting and beautiful space for the public and to serve as the entrance into downtown from the Lake Avenue bridge. The design also had to address unique site conditions, including its location on the roof of a parking garage.
The resulting 18,000 SF plaza acts as Duluth’s front porch, featuring solar-shaded swinging benches, a variety of seating options, and a huge wind turbine blade that acts as a landmark. The plaza complements the recently reconstructed Superior Street and achieves stakeholders’ goals by:
- Providing a flexible space with a variety of outdoor rooms and seating types and sizes for large groups as well as intimate gatherings
- Creating a more fluid pedestrian route to Lake Avenue and Canal Park
- Adding native plantings and a greenroof system to support them