The old St. Louis County Jail in downtown Duluth is almost ready for some new tenants. Except for this time the building will be filled with people who actually want to be there and paying to do so to boot.  The building has some unusual features that were common in the 1920s namely the way the jail cells were constructed. Those doors are actually bracing up the building structure.

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For every set of bars, they removed during the rebuild the construction workers had to replace them with a pillar and beams. In the studio model of the apartments, the bars remain to separate the kitchen from the living area. I guess that's one way to keep people out of the kitchen is to close the old jail cell door.

The jail has a new name too: Leijona. It means “lion” in Finnish which is to recognize some of the historic elements on the stone lion heads on the outside of the building. Meghan Elliott who is a spokesperson for the apartment complex said to WDIO:

It’s also just sociologically, intellectually, emotionally, physically, like that’s a real challenge to take something that was a correctional facility and then makes people feel comfortable living there.”

There are 33 units in all ranging from a studio, 1 bedroom, and 2 bedroom units with the rent of around $1,915 for a 1 bedroom that is 832 square feet to $760 for a studio that is 303 square feet. There is on-site parking, storage, and laundry facilities. They are leasing now and people can move in starting January 1. For a video, tour go to

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