In 1891, the Superior Evening Telegram predicted in a promotional souvenir book that Superior would soon become the next Chicago. The city’s position on the Great Lakes—as close to New York as Chicago, yet five hundred miles closer to the nation’s bread-basket—gave it a unique advantage in linking eastern industry to the markets of the Great Plains. Population boomed in the 1890s, as industries and investors flocked to the city. In 1890 alone, nearly nine hundred stores, hotels, office buildings, and dwellings sprang up, and still there remained a housing shortage. Real estate speculators stepped in to fill the need. Among them was James Roosevelt (father of President Franklin Roosevelt), who hired local architect Wirth to design this Romanesque Revival apartment building. Large round-arched entrance portals flanked by bartizans enliven the three-story block.
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