After over a decade of coordinated effort by many within the community, the Section Foreman House has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Register is the United States federal government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings and structures deemed worth of preservation for their historical significance.
Constructed in 1902 as part of the Great Northern Railway’s housing for Section Foreman, the structure has been added onto over the years and was acquired by the City of Wayzata in 1988 from J. & Ann Dietrich.
For many years the Section Foreman House sat vacant and under utilized.
Wayzata Historical Society member and former Heritage Preservation Board member Sue Sorrentino worked tirelessly at both organizations to have the structure preserved and listed on the National Registry.
Then in 2019 the Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board began a more deliberate campaign to raise the profile of the house with the intent to preserve, stabilize, and restore the structure under the leadership of then chair Nate Leding.
An HPB public relations campaign occurred, including a successful application to have the home designated a Heritage Preservation Site by the City of Wayzata in January of 2020, and several articles in the Star Tribune were written highlighting the desire within the community to preserve the house.
During the same time frame, the City of Wayzata contracted with consultant New History to create a preservation and re-use plan for the Section Foreman House.
New History is a consulting firm specializing in putting historical properties back into service.
During discussion of the agenda item to engage the firm, Wayzata Conservancy Chair Andrew Mullin stated it would be helpful to engage New History to start the National Registry process as it would open more funding sources for the Panoway project.
More recently the City accepted a $250,000 donation from the Sandvold family to pay various costs associated with restoring and operating the Section Foreman House.
Director Quentin Collette of New History oversaw the Registry application throughout it’s life, including a 55 page submission detailing the history of the site to the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office.
Letters in support of the designation were submitted by the City of Wayzata, the Wayzata Historical Society, The Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board and the Wayzata Conservancy along with the application.
On April 6th, 2021 the MSHPO Review Board indicated that the Section Foreman House likely met the criteria for the National Register of Historic Places and that the application should be forwarded to the National Park Service for consideration.
Collette indicated in a May 24th, 2021 email to those working on the application that in fact the Section Foreman House had been listed on the National Registry, “Great news! The Section Foreman House has been officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This is a great achievement, and a big win for the project!”
HPB member Judy Starkey indicated in an email, “Speaking as a long-time member of Wayzata’s Heritage Preservation Board I am pleased and relieved that the Section foreman’s House will be named to the National Register.”
Aaron Person of the Wayzata Historical Society stated, “This is absolutely terrific news! Thank you to everyone who made it possible. We look forward to seeing the building preserved and utilized in the years ahead.
Wayzata Conservancy Chair Andy Mullin stated, “Great news, thank you for letting us know.”
Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for more news on the Section Foreman House.
Publisher’s note: Dan Gustafson serves as the Chair of the Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board.