Glensheen may be the number one visited house museum in the midwest, but there still remains a lot of needed repair.
Over the years, Glensheen’s management has prioritized protecting the shell of the structures on the estate. We are happy to say that the Mansion, Carriage House and Gardener Cottage have new roofs. Also, the Mansion, has been tuck pointed on all four sides with the east facing wall completed just last year. The next big exterior project will be replacing the upper half of the Carriage House.
This fix will primarily focus on restoring the original stucco and timbers.
The stucco itself is simply falling off in chunks on all four sides, plus many sections are extremely fragile and could fall at anytime. Lastly, the stucco exterior surface is severely weathered at this point and the rock aggregate is visible on most surfaces.
The timbers are over 110 years old and have encountered the full force of Lake Superior wind and cold. With that there is significant damage to many of the boards throughout.
Lastly, many if not all of the windows have issues that range from broken glass to broken framing. All windows need to be fixed as well.
What will be done?
In regards to the stucco, all broken and fragile sections will be taken down and replaced with new stucco. Also, surfaces will be restored to their original color and look.
In regards to the timbers, the timbers will be resurfaced and checked for stability. If the wood is rotten or broken it will be replaced by new timbers.
In regards to the windows, all the windows will be taken out and restored to match their original look and structure.
We are lucky to have a great team of professionals to complete the project. The leadership team will be Miller Dunwidde Architecture and Kraus Anderson Construction. These two have done several large projects in recent years on the estate and were completed with great success.
Other contractors on the project are Old World Windows, Bedrock Flint, Mavo systems, and Swanson and Youngdale.
Of course, as a University of Minnesota Project, the overall project will be overseen by John Kessler of the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Facilities Management.
Once done, this is going to greatly enhance the visitor experience, especially considering it is one of the first buildings guest see upon entering the estate. But most important, restoring this upper half will potentially help seal the upper half from more water intrusion into the building, therefore protecting an important part of Glensheen for years to come.
“This publication was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.”