The Duluth Armory was built in 1915 to serve as a training center for Minnesota National Guard and Naval Militia; however, the Armory also sheltered people from the 1918 Cloquet fire, and from 1932 to 1966, it served as Duluth's entertainment center, featuring artists such as Will Rogers, Doris Day, Gene Autry, Louis Armstrong, Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, the Everly Brothers, The Hollies, the Animals, and most notably Buddy Holly. The full list of popular artists runs well over a hundred including every genre from classical music to country.
The City of Duluth took over the facility in 1978 when the National Guard moved to Airpark Boulevard. The Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center opened as the Duluth Arena Auditorium in 1966. As it continued to grow, it became the chosen venue for those who performed in Duluth, and the Duluth Armory was forgotten as an entertainment venue. Since then, the Armory has hosted a few nonprofit organizations, but its primary function today is to shelter heavy equipment for the city’s Department of Public Works.