Incoming Minneapolis Park Board Superintendent Al Bangoura wants to rent the historic Theodore Wirth House during the first year of his new job.
In January, Park Board commissioners are expected to approve the $1,325-a-month lease for approximately 1,431 square feet of living space, according to the proposed lease.
Bangoura's lease includes use of the kitchen and most of the second and third floors. The board will pay for utilities.
He will have "nonexclusive use" of the main floor, which includes the living room and dining room. That means the Park Board can open up that area for the public as long as those visits don't conflict with Bangoura's schedule.
In an e-mail, Bangoura had said he would be "honored" to live at the board-owned house on Bryant Avenue S.
"As I look toward a move back to Minneapolis, I'd love to explore ways to live in the house at a minimum until I can get settled and find a home," he wrote.
Surrounded by a vast, sloping lawn, the 108-year-old Dutch Colonial sits on the south end of a nearly 17-acre parcel of land across from Lakewood Cemetery.
Its large windows in the bottom floor's drawing room overlook the Lyndale Farmstead Sledding Hill, one of the city's most popular sledding hills.
The Wirth house was last renovated in 1988 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
During the search for the next superintendent, the house sat empty until the Minneapolis Parks Legacy Society moved back in this summer to open the house for tours. Since August, the society has added historical items, story boards and photos of the Wirth family. More than 900 people have toured the historic building since then.
Joan Berthiaume, co-founder of the organization, hopes to continue the tours once Bangoura moves in.
Named after the park system's famed second superintendent, the house was most recently leased to former Superintendent Jayne Miller. Her lease agreement was criticized for being below market value.
At the start of her lease in December 2010, Miller paid $640 monthly for 644 square feet that included the kitchen and two second-floor bedrooms. From 2011 until she left in February of this year, she paid $1,154 a month to lease 1,222 square feet, including the kitchen and parts of the second and third floors.
Before Miller, no one had lived in the house for 15 years. She was the first superintendent to live there since David Fisher moved out in 1995.