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Montevideo American-News
  • Initiative to restore foundation of national Granite Falls landmark is progressing

  • The Andrew J. Volstead House has withstood 134 years of Minnesota weather. The Granite Falls Historical Society wants to see it endure 134 more.
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  • The Andrew J. Volstead House has withstood 134 years of Minnesota weather. The Granite Falls Historical Society wants to see it endure 134 more. During Monday's Granite Falls City Council meeting, Eugene Dwyer of LSE Engineers, Le Sueur, was on hand to present findings and recommendations for the restoration of the Volstead House foundation. For years the Granite Falls Historical Society has taken note of a weakening substructure of the National Landmark. This past year the organization was awarded a $5,500 grant by the Minnesota Historical Society to fund an inspection and recommendation for Volstead House repairs. Dwyer visited the site along with Bob Claybaugh of Claybaugh Preservation Architecture on August 15 and confirmed historical society expectations, recommending extensive amounts of restoration, plus the removal of three problem trees, totalling $125,000. Though he said the situation was not urgent, Dwyer recommended that the city and historical society continue to move forward with the repairs without delay. To aid the historical society in the pursuit of future grants, he suggested that the city have a contractor provide a project estimate to back his own numbers at an expense he expected to be under $1,000. Historical society member Terri Dinesen noted that all of the restoration work would be performed so to uphold the Volstead House's historical integrity. Early next year, she said the organization intends to apply to fund the project through a Legacy grant. According to Dinesen, individuals in-the-know informed the historical society that while the Legacy grant does not require a local funding match, it is necessary if the project is going to be approved. At present, the historical society has $30,000 in donations, leftover from the organizations failed attempt to acquire and relocate BNSF Depot, that it would like to use for this purpose. In the end, council members resolved to pay the cost of a contractor's project estimate that would keep ball rolling on the effort. In addition, they offered verbal support for historical society's activities and grant initiative. "It's a good step in the right direction," said Dinesen.

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