2018 Glensheen Bonding Bill

What are these critical or urgent repairs you hear of? Why are they needed?

Governor Mark Dayton released his new public works bonding proposal January 18th, 2018, which includes $542 million allocated for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State College campuses. Included within this higher education request is $4 million to fund urgent repairs to Glensheen to include a $4 million match of non-state funding.

So what are the repairs?

Site structures, terraces, garden walls: $2.9 MI Project Cost (2018 construction)

The house includes a lakeside three-tiered terrace, which is integral to the stability of the entire structure. Masonry walls and stairs support the terrace; however, the foundations for these walls were constructed with shallow footings. Consequently, the walls have settled and the masonry has deteriorated close to the point of failure. Excavation, waterproofing and reconstruction of these walls are required to save the house.

Manor House boiler and steam/ condensate system replacement: $1.6 MI Project Cost (2018 construction)

The low-pressure system that heats the house relies on a single boiler with its original 1909 steam supply and return distribution networks. The intent is to place two new boilers within the exterior structure of the existing boilers to maintain the historic look of the mechanical room. An additional boiler feed system of natural gas pipe and water lines will need to be installed.

Lake Pier Restoration: $4.3 MI Project Cost (2018 construction)

The original pier protected the boathouse from wave and ice impact. The pier was constructed in 1906–1908 and has had limited repairs to its end segment in 1997. Over time, waves and ice destroyed a significant portion of the pier. New marine construction would remove the deteriorated pieces from the lake, build a concrete-reinforced base on the lake’s bottom and include an anchor wall system of 18” concrete to deflect lake conditions from further damaging the pier or the boathouse.

There are over $30 million in total repairs needed; listed above are the most critical ones. Other repairs not on the list include the deteriorated London Road wrought iron and brick column fence line, Boathouse, Carriage House interior and exterior repairs, Mansion interior and exterior repairs, museum-quality HVAC, etc.

Why does Glensheen deserve this?

Glensheen | Statistics

141,000 visitors in 2017

3 million visitors since it opened in 1979

Most visited House Museum in the Midwest

One of the most visited historic sites in Minnesota overall

Most architectural historians rate it the #1 Historic Home in Minnesota.

Glensheen is more popular now than at anytime in its history (even during the height of the murder and its connected state media coverage in the early 1980s.)

Famous Minnesota Architect — Clarence Johnston

Famous Minnesota Interior Designers — William A. French and John S. Bradstreet

One of the most popular National Landscape Designers — New York’s Charles Leavitt. His assistants became two of Minnesota’s most famous landscape designers — Anthony Morrell and Arthur Nichols

Chester Congdon’s legacy — the original owner of Glensheen

  • One of the big players in the early development of the Mesabi Iron Range and US Steel’s formation
  • It was Chester Congdon who envisioned and begun development of the North Shore Drive or as he called it the “Lake Superior International Highway”.