INTRIGUE AT THE HISTORIC WIRTH HOUSE

At the February 7, 2007, Park Board meeting, Joan Berthiaume, co-founder of the Minneapolis Parks Legacy Society, spoke during open time to bring to the attention of the Park Board commissioners what appeared to be the distruction of the historic Wirth House’s original fireplace. Joan reported that neighbors of the Wirth House had contacted her on Tuesday to tell her that they had observed construction workers at the Wirth House removing construction debris from the house, including the fireplace mantle, which was dumped into a dumpster.

Superintendent Gurban was absent and no other staff member stepped forward to give a clear explanation of why the dismantled mantle had been deposited into the dumpster. It apparently was eventually retrieved, but questions remain:

Who is responsible for the dismantling of the mantle and what else from the Historic Wirth House is disappearing into the dumpster? And why is the Legacy Society’s request to use the house to honor the history associated with the house still stuck in committee?