Enger Tower


At 80-feet tall and 450 feet above the lake, Enger Tower is best known for the views. From the top floor you can see two states, two cities and the endless expanse of Lake Superior. It’s sweet spot to snap a pic and soak in the scenery. But the story behind it might be even more compelling.


Enger Tower was built in 1939 on land donated from Norwegian immigrant, Bert Enger. Bert, who moved to the Midwest as a 13-year-old, worked odd jobs around Minnesota and the Dakotas, eventually opening a successful furniture store in Duluth’s West End. 

In 1920, he anonymously donated $50,000 to the city – a massive chunk of change back then. The idea was the city would purchase land and build a park on the area called “Grand Mountain.” A quiet man by all accounts, Bert eventually admitted to donating the money. The city county promptly named the park in his honor.

Bert died in 1931, leaving two-thirds of his estate to the City of Duluth and the Enger Park area. He specified that the development should include a lookout tower surrounded by beautified grounds and footpaths to accommodate visitors.

The tower was built in Bert’s memory and dedicated in 1939 by Crown Prince Olav of Norway and his wife Princess Martha. At five stories tall, it offers an unrivaled view in every direction. It stands today as a salute to Duluth, and, as the News Tribune wrote, one man’s “most generous and meritous act.”

Special thanks to Nancy S. Nelson & Tony Dierckins of the Zenith City Press for compiling a complete history of Enger Tower. For the full story, read more here.

Did You Know?

A trip to the top of Enger Tower takes 105 steps, which burns about 18 calories. But who’s counting?

Did You Know?

Enger Park is also home to the Japanese Peace Bell Garden. The zen garden was dedicated in 2010. It’s built around the American-Japanese Peace Bell, a gift from Duluth’s sister city, Ohara-Isumi.

Did You Know?

Enger Tower was re-dedicated in 2011 by King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway.