In an article subtitled “Theodore Wirth’s grandson wants his granddad’s former home turned into a museum for park history” journalist Conrad Wilson writes:
» One hundred years after his grandfather came to Minneapolis to design a world-class park system, Theodore J. Wirth arrived with a more modest mission.
Wirth, 78, and a park designer himself, wants to create a museum in his grandfather’s former home that traces the history of the park system.
“This is my last big project,” he said.
But the vision for a Wirth museum hasn’t gotten far with the home’s owner, the Minneapolis Park Board. «
Jon Olson, the board’s president, criticized the effort, saying, “Theodore Wirth wasn’t God. I’m getting tired of Theodore Wirth.”
» In fall of 1999, Joan Berthiaume, the co-founder of the Parks Legacy Society, called Wirth after the Park Board and other local organizations couldn’t answer her questions about park history. …
The conversation led to a visit, and before long, Wirth was in the park named for his grandfather, asking people: Who was Theodore Wirth? No one knew.
Two other historic houses [the Longfellow House and Stevens House] owned by the Park Board are operated as museums by nonprofit organizations, and Wirth and Berthiaume thought the same arrangement would be appropriate for what the Park Board calls the Superintendent’s House.
The last superintendent to live there moved out in 1996, and it’s currently used for park staff and storage. …
Last March, Berthiaume asked to lease the home from the Park Board. The Parks Legacy Society would operate the house at no cost to the city using funds generated from memberships and donations, Berthiaume said. «
Read the entire article at the Star Tribune web site.