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Heavy snow may have caused hotel canopy collapse

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No one was injured when an ornate canopy on the Greysolon Plaza in Duluth collapsed without warning Saturday evening.

The Duluth News Tribune reports a lobby security attendant had passed underneath the overhang at the historic downtown hotel just seconds before it fell at around 8:15 p.m. No one was injured.

The Northland's News Center reported that heavy, wet snow may have been a factor in the collapse. Emergency responders blocked off the Superior Street front entrance to the building after the snow–coated overhang fell onto the sidewalk. The cause and the amount of damage are not known.

A wedding reception was underway on the second floor of the hotel at the time. Some of those in attendance described feeling a tremble that felt like an earthquake shaking the building. One witness told the newspaper that said it sounded like the scrape of a snow plow truck while another witness said it sounded like snow or ice fell off the roof onto the canopy.

The Star Tribune reported that Jeff Newton of Duluth was inside for a work Christmas party when he heard a large crash. He said two of the four chains holding the awning were loose.

The Greysolon Plaza opened as the Hotel Duluth in 1925. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now offers an event center on lower floors with apartments on upper floors.

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