Peek behind the doors of Superior’s Roosevelt Terrace – Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR – For the first time in 20 years, the public is invited to tour the Roosevelt balcony. A trio of homeowners will open their doors to a limited number of guests on Nov. 18 for an event that’s part fundraiser for the Douglas County Historical Society, part school project.

Glenwood City High School student Callie Ogesen and her twin brother, Tucker, are holding a fundraiser as part of a competitive DECA (Marketing Student Association) project.

“I wanted to branch out and try something I’d never done before,” said Ogesen, 17. “So instead of doing it in an area I was really used to, I wanted to go north and see if I did it or not.” An opportunity to get used to a new community and experience it there.

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View of the center hall and living room of Roosevelt Terrace Townhouse 2107 from the stairs. It will be one of three townhomes open for a special fundraising tour on November 18.

Contributed/Brian Finstad

Teens have a local connection to townhouses on the National Register of Historic Places; Their uncle, Brian Finstad, lives in one. Augesen herself has spent the last three summers in Superior with Finstad and his husband, Robert Jean Quinn, where she works as a tour guide at Fairlawn Mansion and a volunteer for the Historical Society. Her future plans are to attend the University of Wisconsin-Superior next fall to pursue a degree in psychology.

“So I might be able to see the changes they made in person, from the money I gave them,” Ogesen said.

The teenager noticed how the buildings aroused his curiosity.

‘People like to stop by – I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this – but people say, ‘Oh, I really want to go inside and see what it’s like’ or ‘Oh, I want to see’ the gardens.’ A lot of people say that. “So we’re finally offering the opportunity,” Ogesen said.

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The exterior of one of the townhomes at Roosevelt Terrace, 2107, which will be open for tours on November 18. The event is part fundraiser for the Douglas County Historical Society, and part for the high school’s DECA project.

Contributed/Brian Finstad

The Roosevelt Terrace, designed by noted local architect Karl Wirth, was built in 1890. It was originally 11 three-story brownstone houses. Six of them remain in this arrangement, and five of them have been divided into smaller apartments. Each unit has multiple fireplaces, with no fireplaces the same, open stairwells with skylights and large floor plans.

“It was built by James Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt’s father, who owned a steel mill in Superior,” said Finstad, a local historian. “The residents were all people who came here to develop West Superior.”

The units were sold individually in 1905, leading many to refer to Roosevelt Terrace as “Wisconsin’s first condominium complex,” even though the state’s condominium law did not exist at the time, Finstad said.

The tour will extend through three units – 2107 Ogden Street, which was originally owned by William B. Banks, president of the First National Bank of Superior; 1702 North 21st Street, California Russell House; and 1708 North 21st Street which was owned by one of the Roth brothers. He would start at one of the front doors, go out the back door into the yard and on to the next house. Before and after photos will be on display, showing guests the historic preservation work that has taken place in these living spaces.

“It was very rickety and … not nice. So it’s really great to see all these people coming together and finally being able to save Roosevelt and it can continue like this,” Ogesen said.

The high school student, who sings in the choir and plays the clarinet, said she loves the vibrant colors and woodwork in the townhomes, as well as the specialty rooms.

Ojesen has been involved in the DECA program for two years and works as an outreach officer at her high school in Glenwood.

“I really love making new friends. I also learned a lot about business as well,” she said.

She hopes to raise $2,000 through the tourism fundraising project, which will be presented at this semester’s regional competition, which will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, in January.

Tours of the residences will be conducted every half hour from 1-4pm on November 18. There will be seven tours in total, with space for 15 people on each tour. Cost is $21 per person and includes snacks. Tickets are available online through Bookeo. More information is available on the Facebook event page.

Two teens give a project presentation

Callie Ogesen, left, and her twin brother Tucker presented their proposed DECA project, a tour of three homes on Roosevelt Terrace to raise money for the Douglas County Historical Society, to fellow DECA students at Glenwood City High School on Oct. 20.

Contributed by Calle Ojesen


The kitchen in the 2107 Roosevelt Terrace townhouse features the original stamped tin ceiling.

Contributed/Brian Finstad

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Wood detail of the dining room fireplace in the 2107 Roosevelt Terrace townhouse.

Contributed/Brian Finstad


The shared courtyard behind the Roosevelt Terrace Houses as well as three houses will be open to participants during the Douglas County Historical Society’s fundraising tour of the house.

Contributed/Brian Finstad

Maria Lockwood

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.

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