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Continued: Time up for Scandia's historic Tower Barn?

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 15, 2013 - 2:00 PM

“To many, over the years, there has been an unstated precaution that one does not discuss politics, religion or the Green Building,” she said. “The villainizing of anyone who has a practical or functional reason for seeing the structure down and having to endure the scrutiny of others has made it almost impossible to get straight answers from folks.”

Some people project human emotions and feelings onto “inanimate objects,” Kaufhold said, and if the building could speak, “he might express that the neglected shell that remains is too costly to keep on life support any longer, and that to let him be remembered fondly would be preservation enough for him.”

Brent Peterson, director of the Washington County Historical Society, opposes razing Tower Barn and described its fate as part of a regrettable trend up and down the county. “Unfortunately you can see probably the neglect of some of the most important buildings we have left,” he said. “The foundations of our history, our heritage, who we are, they’re being taken down without appreciation for our communities.”

Peterson said Tower Barn should be saved and put to use for the benefit of Scandia, but he said people who oppose that will wait until the time is right to make an argument that deterioration is too far advanced.

“Neglect is a great form of vandalism,” he said.

Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037

  • related content

  • The Tower Barn in Scandia dates to the 19th century and has been owned by the Hilltop Water Co. since 1969. A vote against restoring it puts it on an apparent path to demolition, to the dismay of preservationists.

  • Wayne Schmitt, inside Tower Barn in Scandia, says the building is an important part of the city’s heritage. He’d like to see a wider vote on its future by shareholders of the Hilltop Water Co., which owns the building.

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