Ribbon cutting planned for A.P. Cook Building

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2450 • www.stlouiscountymn.gov

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator




February 28, 2017

CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


Ribbon cutting planned for County's AP Cook building

A nearly 90-year-old building that long served as a laundry facility - first for the "County Poor Farm" and most recently for the Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center - now has a new use housing three County offices and more than 30 employees. 


A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Wednesday, March 1, at 11 a.m. at the newly named A.P. Cook Building, located on the Public Safety complex at 2503 Rice Lake Road. The building now is home to County Extension Office staff, the Safety and Risk Management Division, Assessor's Office staff who serve southern St. Louis County in the cities and townships surrounding Duluth, and the Property Management Campus Supervisor. Additionally, the building provides space for records storage for several departments.

Transitioning the 20,000 square foot building from laundry facility to office space has been a four year effort. Chris Jensen had continued using the site for laundry service through the end of 2015. An estimated 95 percent of the building's interior has been remodeled, along with all of its exterior grounds and parking area.

Naming the building for A.P. Cook is a nod to the history of the location. Arthur Purdon Cook, who was better known as A.P. Cook, served as St. Louis County Poor Commissioner from 1894-1910, and again from 1914-1934. It was during his tenure that the main housing and medical facility on the poor farm was built. The building bore the name "A.P. Cook Unit", and was large enough to accommodate 528 people. As times and service needs changed, the facility evolved into a nursing home, prior to being demolished 30 years ago - in February 1987. The plaque that once hung in that building now is displayed in the  A.P. Cook Building's lobby.

Besides the A.P. Cook Building, which was constructed in 1929, the only remaining structures from the days of the County Poor Farm are the barn and root cellar.



AP Cook building

The newly renovated A.P.Cook Building houses staff from the Assessor's Office, County Extension, and Safety and Risk Management. The 88-year-old building once served as a laundry facility for the "County Poor Farm", and later for the present day Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center.

AP Cook plaque

This plaque hangs in the lobby of the newly renovated A.P. Cook Building, highlighting the history of the location and reason for its name. The sign once hung on the wall of the A.P. Cook Unit, which provided housing and medical care for people living at the St. Louis County Poor Farm. The A.P. Cook Unit was demolished 30 years ago.

A.P. Cook was a St. Louis County Poor Commissioner from 1894-1910, and again from 1914-1934. The A.P. Cook Building was originally constructed in 1929 as a laundry facility for the A.P. Cook Unit.