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Minnesotans feeling the loss of historic Lutsen Lodge: "It's part of our history"

Minnesotans feeling the loss of historic Lutsen Lodge
Minnesotans feeling the loss of historic Lutsen Lodge 01:58

LUTSEN, Minn. — The enormous loss of the historic Lutsen Lodge is being felt across the state Tuesday.

Cook County officials say a fire alarm was reported at the lodge just before 12:30 a.m. No injuries were reported, but in a Facebook post the Lutsen Lodge says the building is a total loss.

The lodge was the oldest operating resort in Minnesota. Dale Mulfinger knows the historic lodge well. Especially the man who designed it: Edwin Lundie. He wrote a book on Lundie's work — including the Lutsen Lodge in 1995.

"It's one of the few, really beautiful public buildings he did," Mulfinger said.

RELATED: Papa Charlie's burns down in Lutsen

As an architect himself, Mulfinger is mourning the loss of the iconic ski resort.

"It was just very saddened by it. It's hard to imagine it will get rebuilt in the manner it once existed," he said. "It feels as though it's a treasure lost to the public but also to me personally. Given my interest in Lundie's work."


He's far from the only one grieving. One Facebook commenter compared it to Paris losing Notre Dame. Hundreds poured out their grief online, sharing memories of anniversaries, family trips and heartache over the loss of their favorite special place.

"It was a landmark," Mulfinger said. "It's part of our history, part of our memory. When you drive 61 you wanna drop in at old Lutsen and stay overnight. Or have a bite to eat in their restaurant and look out over the lake. It's a fantastic setting on the shore right where the river comes into the lake. It's part of our collective memory of what we think of about the north shore, about Lake Superior."

RELATED: Gondolas, Alpine Slide to resume service at Lutsen resort following restaurant fire

A collective memory Minnesotans are holding close.

"Little too early to tell where all this goes yet," Mulfinger said. "We are all just struck by this sad news."

According to the Lutsen Lodge, this is the third fire in the resort's existence. Owners hope to rebuild. 

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