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July 30, 2014

Feds agree with tribe, say Duluth’s Carter Hotel should come down

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs says the historic Carter Hotel building in downtown Duluth is “a significant health and safety problem,” the Duluth News Tribune reports.

“The entire interior was covered in mold, and a brown jelly-like fungus was growing on carpets in the apartments,” Diane Rosen, a regional director for the BIA, wrote in a letter recommending demolition to Duluth Mayor Don Ness. “The first- and second-floor corridor halls were buckled. The roof has an unknown number of holes that have allowed water into the building.”

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa bought the 83-year-old structure for $318,000 in December 2010 and wants to raze it. However, the city of Duluth and the State Historic Preservation Office have pushed efforts to save the building.

The newspaper says the band plans to turn the site into surface parking and eventually use it to expand the Fond-Du-Luth Casino, which the band owns and operates.

Last month, a federal appeals court panel upheld a ruling that the Fond du Lac Band is not obligated to share casino profits with Duluth — which it did for 15 years. Still in dispute, however, are two years worth of payments from 2009 to 2011.