US Army Corps of Engineers
Detroit District

Soo Locks - a National Historic Landmark

A brass plaque mounted near the main gates into the Upper Canal Park commemorates the designation of the Soo Locks as a National Historic Landmark.
A view of the Administration building under construction in 1896, notice the workmen standing on top of the tower!
A modern view of the historic Administration and Davis buildings at the Soo Locks.
A view of the Administration Building Lobby as it nears completion. Details like the ionic columns, carved ceiling moldings and mosiac tile floor have been preserved and the lobby today is unchanged.
A view of the lobby of the Administration Building taken in 2013. This building is open to visitors one day each year as part of the Engineers Day open house on the last Friday in June.
A view of the Davis Building under construction in 1914. This building houses the pumps for dewatering the locks for winter work.
The Davis Building was built in 1914 as part of the Davis Lock construction. In addition to housing the marine post office this building holds three of the 350 horsepower pumps that are used to dewater the locks for winter work. Visitors are welcome to tour this building during Engineers Day, an open house held annually on the last Friday in June.
A view of the lower warehouse taken from across the canal in 1931. This building is still an important part of the Soo Locks facility.
A modern view of the 1930s era warehouse. This building has numerous offices as well as a full carpenter, machine and paint shop where much of the work of maintaining the locks can be done in-house.
The Soo Locks are one of less than 3,000 National Historic Landmarks in the entire country.  It earned this special designation due to its contributions to the nation's industrial and commercial development since the 1850s and the architectural significance and integrity of many of its structures and buildings dating back to the late 19th Century.  To maintain these historic elements while incorporating necessary technological and safety improvements, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works closely with the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Office.