Arts & Music Center

Duluth   Minnesota

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The Duluth Armory is one of those special places. The building has a long history as a transformational place – a building that inspired greatness. The Armory itself is about to be transformed.


The building where the 125th Artillery dug foxholes on the Drill Hall floor before going on to see more days of combat than any other unit in WWII will again serve the Northland as a community gathering place.


The stage that hosted the who’s who of the 20th century–from Johnny Cash to Bob Hope and Harry Truman to The Supremes will again be a place for entertainment and education.


The place where a teenage Bob Dylan was inspired to pursue his musical dreams by Buddy Holly just two nights before Holly died in the infamous plane crash will become a state-of-the-art music education facility, inspiring future generations to pursue their musical dreams through lessons, performances, recording, and collaborating.


Generations of families have fond memories of events at the Armory–from school dances, to Battles of the Bands, to concerts, speeches, and funerals. Soon the Armory will live again and Northlanders will again experience the Armory as A Place of Great Inspiration.


A 21st century model for non-profit sustainability will include state and federal tax credits for the rehabilitation of the building and educational and community programs will be supported financially through income generated from rented space on the lake side of the building. The Armory Arts & Music Center’s programs, like the Armory itself, are built to last!



Military • Music • Community

The Armory has been a site of great inspiration throughout its history – truly the building that made Duluth famous. It was built in 1915 at roughly five times the average cost of other armories of that era. It served as a military training facility for the Minnesota National Guard and Naval Militia.

The building also played an important role as the cultural and entertainment hub of the Duluth region. Some of the most famous Americans appeared at the Armory – Harry Truman, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, and Liberace, to name a few.

Perhaps the biggest event in the building’s history came in January 1959 as Buddy Holly and Friends brought their Winter Dance Party to the Armory. Holly died just three days later in the infamous plane crash that has come to be known as “the day the music died.” This was a formative event for Duluth native Robert Zimmerman, who the world knows as America’s greatest songwriter – Bob Dylan. Dylan spoke of the significance of seeing Holly at the Armory in his 2016 Nobel Prize Lecture.


The Armory Annex currently is home to several local artisans.

[Click the link below to see who.]


December 20, 2021 - The Armory Arts & Music Center is thrilled to announce it has reached an agreement with George Sherman and Sherman Associates to rehabilitate the Historic Duluth Armory. Moving forward as partners we will honor the Armory’s rich past while updating it and reimagining it for future generations.


Under the partnership agreement, the building will be developed as a community hub for business start-ups and entrepreneurial development; arts and culture; food and entertainment. The Armory will be a vibrant mix of uses including community spaces, the restoration of the stage, a public food hall, community kitchen, artist studios, and exhibits celebrating both the cultural, entertainment, and military significance of the building.





Mailing address:

Armory Arts & Music Center

1626 London Road, #779

Duluth, MN 55812


1325 London Road

Duluth, MN 55805

Call Mark at:(218) 428-9686 

or email: