Norway's royalty rededicates Enger Tower in Duluthby Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — An estimated 500 people braved frigid winds Monday to greet King Harald V and Queen Sonja at Enger Park in Duluth this afternoon.
The royal couple participated in a ceremony to rededicate Enger Tower, a five-story octagonal structure built by Norwegian immigrant Burt Enger in 1939 high on a bluff overlooking Lake Superior.
King Harald's father, Crown Prince Olav, originally dedicated the tower. The king told the crowd in Duluth it was "very moving" for him to follow in his father's footsteps.
"Enger Tower will continue to be a symbol of the hard work and dedication of the Norwegian immigrants," he said, "and their stories will continue to be told to future generations of Americans."
Slideshow: Enger Tower dedication
This summer Duluth completed an extensive renovation of the tower at the cost of $400,000, paid for with revenues from the city's tourism tax and private donations. Duluth Mayor Don Ness called Enger Park and the tower "a tribute to our region's Norwegian heritage."
Before today's dedication, the royal couple visited the Duluth chapter of the Sons of Norway. The group just finished a restoration project of its own, spending $50,000 to rehab its historic Norway Hall in downtown Duluth. The couple also dined at a royal luncheon at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. An estimated 500 people paid $100 a plate, with proceeds going to help the continued renovation of Enger Park.
The king and queen leave Tuesday for New York City, where they'll visit Ground Zero.
- Morning Edition, 10/18/2011, 7:45 a.m.