The Friends of Wirth Par 3, a Wirth Park golfers’ group, has issued the following statement about the Par 3 clubhouse, which would be demolished under the proposed MPRB agreement with the Loppet Foundation. The agreement is on the Administration and Finance Committee agenda for January 16:
PROTECT THE WIRTH PAR 3 CLUBHOUSE FROM DEMOLITION
The Wirth Golf Course Par 3 clubhouse at 1325 Theodore Wirth Parkway is located in the new Grand Rounds Historic District. The clubhouse and 9-hole golf course were completed in 1962.
The clubhouse is a one-story building [see attached file], 28 feet by 50 feet, constructed of randomly sized stone blocks. The low gabled roof has overhanging eaves with exposed rafters.
The clubhouse was designed by architects Armstrong and Schlichting of Minneapolis. Current MPRB Wirth Park plans include the demolition of the Par 3 clubhouse after a Welcome Center is built nearby. Golfers believe the Par 3 clubhouse should be protected by the new Grand Rounds Historic District, especially considering how visible the building is from Wirth Parkway. The Scenic Byways designation ( http://minneapolisparks.org/documents/design/missing/Grand_Rounds_Corridor_Plan.pdf ) from 1998 also offers protections.
Another reason golfers oppose the demolition is because GOLFERS PAID FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PAR 3 CLUBHOUSE AS THEY PAY FOR ALL GOLF COURSE OPERATIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS AT ALL OF THE MPRB GOLF COURSES. This policy of NOT using property taxes to support golf originated with Theodore Wirth in 1916 when the historic Wirth (originally named Glenwood) 18-hole golf course opened its first 9 holes. If the Par 3 clubhouse is demolished, golfers would have to pay a substantial portion of the Welcome Center construction costs because part of the Welcome Center would function as the Par 3 clubhouse in the summer. THIS IS UNFAIR TO GOLFERS.