The Maurices story began in 1931 with E. Maurice Labovitz opening a small women’s clothing store in Duluth, Minnesota. Now, the new headquarters of the Maurices retail chain is the largest downtown development in Duluth’s history and provides an iconic gateway to the seaport city. The new 11-story, 200,000 square feet building spans an entire block and includes many modem touches such as a fitness center, large glass windows and an outdoor plaza that overlooks Lake Superior.
Designed by RSP Architects, the $70 million corporate office building provides an iconic image for those entering downtown Duluth from the West. The design goal for Maurices was to provide a contemporary headquarters building that fits into the fabric of downtown, extends the pedestrian vitality of Superior Street and adds an icon of economic growth to the city’s skyline. The building blends into the fabric of downtown Duluth by use of its materiality and form. Much of the base of the building is clad in Minnesota sourced granite and thin-brick precast to ground the form into the site.
The tower portion of the project is visually lighter with precast and glass lending itself to a more contemporary architecture as a vision for the future of Duluth. Light-colored precast vertical bands tie the different architectural components together rising from the ground floor past the roof plane. Visitors are welcomed by a dramatic two-story lobby grand entrance, while large glass windows on the office levels provide employees with views of the harbor and city and allow natural light to enter the space.
Previously, Maurices workers had been spread out in three buildings, including the original store building. The new headquarters will accommodate 600 associates to meet the growth demands in future years. A public parking ramp with about 500 spaces is on floors 3 to 6 of the building, a welcome addition in the western end of downtown. The ramp is owned and operated by the city of Duluth.