Category Archives: Theodore Wirth

Open House for Wirth Park Adventure and Welcome Center

The Park Board has issued the following Press Release.

Open House for Wirth Park Adventure and Welcome Center

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will host an open house to share the preferred design concept for the Wirth Park Adventure and Welcome Center. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 14, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Theodore Wirth Chalet, 1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway.

At the open house, MPRB staff and consultants will be available to explain and answer questions about the design of a new building, site improvements, and revision of the back-9 of the Theodore Wirth Golf Course.  The public will be able to provide design input, which will be taken into consideration when a final schematic design is presented to the MPRB Commissioners for approval.  MPRB consideration of the schematic design is tentatively scheduled for August 5 and will include a public hearing.

The Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center is a collaborative project between the MPRB and the Loppet Foundation. This entirely new facility will include site improvements and a new building. It will focus on cross-country skiing, par-3 golf support, snowboarding, mountain bike racing, and snow-tubing. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall with revisions to the back-9 and will continue throughout 2016.  It is expected that the Adventure and Welcome Center will be open in late 2016.

More information about the project can be found under Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center at the project webpage (or go to www.minneapolisparks.org/currentprojects and select “Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center” under Theodore Wirth Regional Park).  In addition to attending the open house, the public is welcome to stay informed about the project by subscribing to e-mail updates at www.minneapolisparks.org/subscribe or, if you are already a subscriber, by adding “Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center” to your subscription preferences.

60-day Comment Period Open for Draft of Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan

The Park Board has issued the following notice:

60-day Comment Period Open for Draft of Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) invites public comment on the Draft Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan through December 15, 2014. Once approved, the master plan will guide park investment at Wirth Park for the next twenty years. The draft plan builds on the concept plan that was approved by the MPRB Board in July 2012. Based on comments received, the draft plan will be revised and presented to the Board of Commissioners for a public hearing and approval in 2015.

The Draft Master Plan is available for review:

  • Online on the Wirth Park project page
  • At the following locations:
    • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Headquarters, 2117 West River Road N
    • Wirth Chalet, Theodore Wirth Regional Park, 1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy
    • Par 3, Theodore Wirth Regional Park, 1325 Theodore Wirth Pkwy
    • Harrison Recreation Center,
    • Kenwood Community Center,
    • North Commons Recreation Center,

 Submit a Comment:

  • Online
  • By Mail: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board; 2117 West River Road N, Minneapolis, MN 55411 ATTN: Colleen O’Dell, Project Planner

 If you require language translation, please send an email to planning@minneapolisparks.org requesting translation in the language needed.

The following letter by Robert Dwyer was sent on September 30 to Friends of the Theodore Wirth Par 3.

The following letter by Robert Dwyer was sent on September 30 to Friends of the Theodore Wirth Par 3.

Dear Friends,

The agenda for the Wednesday October 1, 2014 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board meeting includes a request from staff for the board to approve an October 15, 2014 date as the start of the 45 day public comment period for the Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan.

It is expected that this Master Plan will include the recommendations of the Wirth Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) which, as most of you remember, finished its work in June of 2012. Their Concept Plan was subsequently accepted by the board. Included in those recommendations was the commitment to keep the Par 3 in operation as it has been, and to refrain from making any changes the layout of that course.

During subsequent meetings, and as recently as a month ago, we have been assured of certain other Par 3 essentials by the Planning Department. These include:

The Par 3 will be able to operate out on the new Welcome Center at least as effectively as it did in the “old building”.

Par 3 operations will continue to me managed my MPRB Recreation Department personnel.

The old facilities (clubhouse and parking lot) will not be eliminated until the Par 3 can begin operations in the new facilities (Welcome Center, parking lot, and parkway bridge).

However, the Planning Department has been working toward the submission of this Master Plan for over two years now. While the CAC’s Concept plan was an important step the Planning Department is free to make any changes, deletions or additions within its submission. In addition, the scope of the Master Plan goes far beyond those items covered in the CAC Concept Plan.

For golfers, we know that provisions included in the new Master Plan will cover the Par 3, the Welcome Center, ski and bike trails, other paths and trails, the front and back nines of the 18 hole course, the Chalet and surrounding area, and the impact of other activities on or near the course areas.

In addition the programs and facilities for all other activities for ALL of Wirth Park will be covered in this plan. We will certainly be interested in learning as much as possible about these plans and responding during the comment period regarding golf issues, and any other issues which are important to us as park users.

This Master Plan document is reported to be in excess of 200 pages. Park users will need a great deal of time to study the document and should have a chance to become familiar with it before the Planning Dept holds any meetings or attempts to conduct any survey to obtain feedback. BUT the Planning Department has not submitted a copy of the Master Plan with the documents for the October 1st meeting. In fact they have made it clear that they are following a new process which is expected to apply to all future Public Comment periods.

The Planning Dept. has indicated, in their report for the October 1st board meeting, the various meetings and methods they will follow to manage the 45 day comment period. They expect to post the Master Plan document on the MPRB Web site by the beginning of the comment period.

For a document as large and complex as this, it would seem that the more time they could offer park users to study and understand it, the better the result would be. In some similar circumstances in the past the board has provided for an extended (60 day) public comment period. The Planning Department is considering this option.

The documents for the Planning Department request for approval of the 45 day comment period (staff report and Resolution 2014-243) is board agenda item 10.2 in the October 1st regular meeting agenda packet. The agenda packet can accessed at this link:

http://minneapolisparksmn.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx

The agenda packet then must be downloaded as a pdf file. I can also send a you a copy of these documents via email if you cannot access them in the normal manner.

Robert Dwyer
Friends of the Theodore Wirth Park

 

Theodore Wirth Citizen Advisory Committee Meeting Scheduled for April 10

The Park Board has issued the following notice:

THEODORE WIRTH CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 10

The next Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting to review a revised master plan concept and prioritize needed improvements for Theodore Wirth Park has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road.

All are welcome to attend the meeting and time will be set aside for public comment.

Recent and future improvements are made possible due to grants from the Parks and Trails fund of Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008 and from the Metropolitan Council. Over the past two years, the playground has been replaced and beach improvements and a new trail loop around Wirth Lake have been completed. The Wirth Pavilion Rehabilitation will be under construction this year.

For more information regarding Theodore Wirth Park planning, visit the park’s project page: http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=1150

Letter from the N P S re Theodore Wirth Home and Proposed Dog Park

LETTER FROM THE NPS RE THEODORE WIRTH HOME AND PROPOSED DOG PARK

The following letter was submitted via e-mail to the MPRB by Dena Sanford, Architectural Historian with the National Park Service, Midwest Region, National Register Programs:

THEODORE WIRTH HOME AND DISCUSSIONS RE A PROPOSED NEW DOG PARK IN MINNEAPOLIS

Monday, November 21, 2011 11:06 AM

To the members of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

I was provided your names from Joan Berthiaume, regarding discussions on the establishment of a dog park in Minneapolis. I have previously provided thoughts to members of the Park and Recreation Board regarding the potential of dedicating park land adjacent to the Theodore Wirth House as for use as a dog park. I am taking the opportunity to repeat them again, prior to your November 22 meeting.

As you are aware, the Theodore Wirth Home and Administration Building, and the surrounding landscape, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mrs. Berthiaume and the Minneapolis Parks Legacy Society approached me about a year ago regarding the potential of that property for its eligibility for listing as a National Historic Landmark. As a result of that contact, I spoke to the Minneapolis Park Board about such designation, and what that entailed.

National Historic Landmarks possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. Their numbers include such well-known properties as the White House, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Carnegie hall in New York, and the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. They also include the James J. Hill House, the Mayo Clinic, Split Rock Light Station, the Charles A. Lindbergh House and the Washburn A Mill (Mill City Museum) in Minnesota.

As you may be aware, the Theodore Wirth House is historically significant to the history of park development in the Minneapolis Park System (which is widely acclaimed in its own right), and is listed on the National Register at a state level of significance. However, Theodore Wirth was a nationally-recognized person who promoted a form of park development that encouraged public access and use in a way very different from earlier parks, a concept described as the “local park movement.” This concept also directly influenced the design ethic of his son, Conrad Wirth. As the location of both his home and his office, the Wirth House represents the focus of where Theodore Wirth developed and carried out his concepts of landscape design and public use.

Conrad Wirth, who grew up in the house and would have been intimately familiar with his father’s design philosophy, also became a landscape architect, and a national figure in the National Park Service. Conrad Wirth was a key administrator in the planning and design of the Civilian Conservation Corps program of the 1930s, and later brought about a sea change in NPS perceptions about providing the public with access into the National Parks– very different from that espoused at the beginning of the 20th century.

The landscape surrounding the house, with its open lawn setting interspersed with vegetation and trees, is an integral component of the National Register nomination. Both the house and landscape are highly intact, which greatly assists in conveying the importance of the property associated with both Wirth men.

Should the National Historic Landmark nomination proceed, retaining a very high level of integrity is an important element in the evaluation process. As stewards of such an important resource, I am confident that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is taking into account the importance of sensitive treatment and preservation of the property. Placement of a dog park that is not within the National Register boundary would ensure that the landscape associated with these nationally important men remains intact. In this way, the citizens of Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota, and the greater American public can appreciate and learn from this irreplaceable resource, and the role that Minneapolis played in the national evolution of public park landscape design.

Thank you,

Dena Sanford

Theodore Wirth Regional Park Community Design Event

Theodore Wirth Regional Park Community Design Event:

Community Open House – Location Change

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) announces a change in location for the Community Open House scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday November 5 from 9-11:30 a.m. The Open House will be hosted on the first floor of the Wirth Chalet building at Theodore Wirth Regional Park (1339 Theodore Wirth Parkway). Click to view a map:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1339+Theodore+Wirth+Pkwy+Minneapolis%2c+MN+55422&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x52b3339e3dd182db:0x9c98bdb6b9e8e0

Please join us to review and comment on the design concepts produced by the community and professional design team throughout this week!

You are also invited to attend the next advisory committee meeting at MPRB Headquarters (2117 West River Road):

• Tuesday, November 8, 6:30-8:30 pm, Citizen Advisory Committee Meeting (Board Room): The CAC will be developing overall recommendations for the park’s master plan and funding priorities. All are welcome to attend and an opportunity for public comment will be provided at 8:10 pm. Click to view a map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?ftid=0x52b3326f4017c513:0xb934854350e4e1c1&q=2117+West+River+Road&hl=en&gl=us&ved=0CAwQ-gswAA&sa=X&ei=9QafTsj8A4yeM5Wp6e4E

For more information about the Theodore Wirth Regional Park Planning Process, visit the project webpage:

http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=1150

or call Jennifer Ringold, Manager of Public Engagement and Citywide Planning, at 612-230-6464.

Theodore Wirth Regional Park Community Design Event

The following announcement has recently been released by MPRB:

Theodore Wirth Regional Park Community Design Event:
November 2, 3, 5 and 8

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) announces a community design event for Theodore Wirth Regional Park. The multi-day event will bring together the Theodore Wirth Park Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), community and a professional design team to create potential concepts for the park as a whole. The resulting concepts will be used by the CAC to develop recommendations for a park master plan and funding priorities.

Please Join Us

You are invited to the following events at Theodore Wirth Regional Park (1339 Theodore Wirth Parkway):

Wednesday, November 2, 6-9 pm, Community Meeting (Wirth Chalet, 2nd Floor): This will be an opportunity for the CAC, design team and community to share and discuss key information about the park.

Thursday, November 3, 4-5:30 pm, Open Studio (Wirth Chalet, 2nd Floor): The design team will be working in the chalet throughout the day to develop concepts. Stop by the chalet to see concept ideas in progress and visit with the designers.

Saturday, November 5, 9-11:30 am, Community Open House (Par 3 Golf Clubhouse): Attend an open house to review and comment on the design concepts.

You are invited to the following event at MPRB Headquarters (2117 West River Road):

Tuesday, November 8, 6:30-8:30 pm, Citizen Advisory Committee Meeting (Board Room): The CAC will be developing overall recommendations for the park’s master plan and funding priorities. All are welcome to attend and an opportunity for public comment will be provided at 8:10 pm.

For More Information about the Theodore Wirth Regional Park Planning Process, visit the project webpage:

http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=1150

or call Jennifer Ringold, Manager of Public Engagement and
Citywide Planning, at 612-230-6464.

HEADS-UP FOR THE OCTOBER 20, 2010 PARK BOARD MEETING

HEADS-UP FOR THE OCTOBER 20, 2010 PARK BOARD MEETING

5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. Committee meetings to follow. The meetings will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers need to sign up before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting.

This meeting is the last meeting that David Fisher will be attending as Superintendent. His four month stint as interim superintendent ends on October 31. We are grateful that he accepted the invitation to come to Minneapolis to fill this position.

This meeting is a meeting with many significant agenda items. The most important item on the agenda is the vote to approve the employment agreement with Jayne Miller, who–at the last meeting–was selected by a unanimous vote to be the new MPRB Superintendent.

Some highlights of the meetings that will be voted on :

The I-35 Bridge Memorial.
The concession agreement with Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet.
The reconvening of the CAC for the Wirth Beach Project III.
The non-appointed CACs for two playgrounds at Lake Harriet.

There will be a presentation of the Superintendent’s 2011 Recommended Budget. This is a report item and will not be voted on at this time.

The following is the link to the complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting of Wednesday, October 20: http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=37&calid=670

MPRB meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast cable and online at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/webcasts.

The regular meetings are rebroadcast on Channel 79 at 1 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Webcasts for the recent two months are posted two to five business days after the meeting and are available for viewing under “Webcast Archives” at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/webcasts.

The Park Board’s website is http://www.minneapolisparks.org.

Arlene Fried, Co-founder of Park Watch

Statues show up at recycling center — in pieces

Two men, 1 woman charged after alleged attempt to sell pieces of bronze figures as scrap metal
BY SHANNON PRATHER
Pioneer Press

To those who meandered through Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, the discovery of six lifelike bronze sculptures was a surprise and delight. For two men and a woman, the three-dimensional art looked like little more than easy money, police allege. Pioneer Press

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?