Historic property again part of Anderson CenterThe farmhouse and artist studios that once were part of the historic Tower View estate are again part of the Anderson Center.
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
The farmhouse and artist studios that once were part of the historic Tower View estate are again part of the Anderson Center.
The center recently acquired the 11 acres on the east side of the main campus, including a two-story farmhouse, a garage, horse barn and maintenance shed, and two artist studios, plus a spacious, oak-shaded lawn.
A.P. Anderson built the white clapboard house in 1925 as part of Tower View, according to Anderson Center Director Robert Hedin.
The house was briefly the home of an engineer from Chicago-based Quaker Oats Co. who helped Dr. Anderson conduct his many cereal experiments in the laboratories at Tower View. Anderson invented the process that resulted in Puffed Rice, Puffed Wheat and other cereals.
In 1932, the house became the home of John and Eugenie Anderson and their family. John, son of A.P. Anderson, was an artist and photographer.
His wife, Eugenie, became the United States’ first woman ambassador. She was appointed to Denmark in 1949 by President Harry S. Truman. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy named her minister to Bulgaria.
Following their deaths, the house became home to A.P. Anderson’s great-granddaughter.
Earlier this summer the brick wall that had separated the sites for decades was removed. A new east entrance and parking area were created.
The horse barn and maintenance shed are being converted into much-needed storage space, Hedin said, and the studios were renovated into rental space for local artists. Plans include opening a music studio.
Eventually, he said, the farmhouse will become the home of the next executive director — when he retires in the next several years.
“This is an absolutely wonderful opportunity for the Anderson Center,” Hedin said. “We could not be more pleased. Acquiring this additional acreage allows the center to expand in all its rightful directions.”
The Anderson Center (www.andersoncenter.com) today is an artist community that brings writers, artists and scholars from all over the world to Red Wing from May to October.
It boasts a world-class permanent art collection, an outdoor sculpture garden, a press-in-residence, a blacksmith shop, artist studios, a kiln and facilities for glass-blowing and print-making. Exhibitions and public celebrations are held several times a year.
The campus has been undergoing restoration for more than a decade. This fall work will be completed on the original barn and silo, which are being renovated as a performing arts loft and a studio.
The Red Wing Alternative School, an Archeology Field Station, the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center and the Sheldon Theatre Scene Shop also are housed at Tower View.
The additional property brings the campus to more than 350 acres.
“(This) allows the histories of these two remarkable properties, divided for nearly half a century, to come together and become one history again,” Hedin said.