Photo: Beth Petrowske
Boathouse Treats and Treasures
Tom Napoli - October 2019
Muralist Tom Napoli’s work can be viewed throughout Duluth. Anyone who drives west along Grand Avenue has seen the beautiful wall facing 40th Avenue West on the side of the Tortoise and Hare. Zenith Book Store, Ganucci’s, VIP Pizza (Superior location)… this is the body of work Beth Petrowske, owner of the now-closed Boathouse Treats and Treasures had in mind when she was designing her store façade.
When Petrowske purchased 2009 West Superior Street from Jack Carr, she wanted to not only add larger windows to the green Carr’s Hobbies building, but she also wanted it to reflect a nautical theme. With all of the murals going up in the neighborhood, this former graphic designer also wanted to add to the movement by incorporating art on the renovated storefront.
“The west end of the façade represents old-style fishing shacks – it’s tranquil on that side,” said Petrowske. “The east end shows someone of the water with the hardened look of a livelihood on the big lake.”
Petrowske wanted to illustrate the many moods of Lake Superior as well as give a solid nod to the once-plentiful commercial fishers on the lake.
Initially, she mistakenly thought Napoli had painted the Snowy Owl mural done by Adam Swanson on the 1927 W Superior Street building. When she called him, she found out that wasn’t the case, but Napoli sketched a concept for her and she gave him the go-ahead. With his son apprenticing, Napoli worked on the mural throughout the summer of 2020, completing it in October of that year.
Unfortunately, the Boathouse Treats and Treasures building was purchased along with the Seaway Hotel, and was demolished in February 2022. We are fortunate to have a record of not only the facade, but of the installation as well including some detailing from the entryway that isn’t readily seen from afar. Petrowske is currently seeking a new location and in the meantime is selling her wares via Etsy.
Photos: Beth Petrowske, Shannon Laing
2009 W Superior Street (no longer in existence – was originally part of the store façade)