Cloquet downtown buildings, parks get a facelift

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Several familiar mainstreet business fronts in downtown Cloquet are receiving much needed facelifts. Gone are the shiny white glazed bricks, vintage Coca-Cola sign and peeling paint that waved sadly on certain downtown facades.

The remodels are in a variety of stages.

Lambert's Auto Glass is nearing completion with stucco applied to the exterior walls and a lower portion that will be a rock facade. The original red and white painted ceramic tiles are gone. Contractor Jeremy Loucks expects to be finished with the work as soon as this Friday.

Owner Kirk Lambert said he was tired of fighting the old ceramic tiles that paint refused to stick to so he decided to remodel the exterior of the building.

On the north side of Cloquet Avenue several businesses are also getting facelifts.

Tollerud's Heating and Cooling has a few minor updates to the front of the business, while neighbor Jacob Osvold has been transforming the old Ed's Bakery into a Farmers Insurance business. The 60-year-old Coca-Cola painting on the side of the building is now covered.

Next door, T&J Gun and Pawn is also receiving a new look, and bright signs hanging on the front of the scaffolding assures customers that it's business as usual inside. The pawn shop is replacing the old white glazed brick front with etched brick. They're hoping work will continue moving forward this week.

Meanwhile, on Dunlap Island, the new Voyageurs Park project is coming along, according to City Engineer Caleb Peterson.

"Like any project of this size we seem to come across new challenges daily but so far things continue to move in the right direction," he said. "The schedule changes daily due to weather, inspection findings, schedule coordination between multiple contractors, etc."

He said that while the project is a little behind schedule, substantial completion this fall is still feasible including the ice skating loop for winter.

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY JAMIE LUND