December 5, 2015
1999-2002: The Tower View estate underwent a massive, comprehensive restoration of all property sites and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the main residence, landmark water tower, laboratories, greenhouse, ice house, and border wall along Highway 61. Original blueprints, photos, and Anderson family archives were consulted to assure historic accuracy.
The completed project involved over 22 tons of mortar, 3400 bricks, 400 gallons of paint, and more than 1000 flowers, shrubs, and trees.
2002-2004: The original hand-painted walls of the dining and living rooms as well as the ceiling of the front porch entrance of the main residence were constructed, the original 1930's photographic dark room was rehabilitated, and the old Tower View smokehouse was converted into an outdoor gas-fired pottery kiln.
2004-2006: A decorative brick border wall was built to highlight the new sculpture garden, and the second "North Studio" complex was completed. The 1922 granary barn from the original Anderson family homestead was relocated to the Center, restored, and converted into a printmaking studio. An outdoor blacksmith shop was built for metal sculptors and, in conjunction with the Cannon Valley Bicycle Trail, a large observation deck overlooking 40 acres of wetlands and wildlife refuge located near the Cannon River was constructed for educational purposes.
2007: Renovations to the café included a larger, modernized, and fully equipped kitchen, brick columns, storage cabinets, gallery lighting, two bay windows, and double doors for easy access to the spacious roof deck terrace. The roof deck terrace was outfitted with new durable tables, chairs, benches, umbrellas, and decorative flowerbeds. Roof repairs were completed in both areas.
2008-2009: The old horse watering room was redesigned and converted into restroom facilities with additional windows, interior walls, floor tiles, and seating benches. A new mechanical room was built to house the heating and air conditioning units for the barn and silo.
2010-2012: In 2010, the Center undertook restoration, renovation, and rehabilitation of its historic 1915 barn and silo.
The Tower View barn measures 72 feet in length, 33 feet in width, and 38 feet in height. The exterior walls are of board and batten construction, and the roof is traditional gambrel in design. The interior is comprised of two floors. The ground level was originally fitted with stalls and stanchions for housing farm animals. The second floor was a haymow and contains a classically Midwestern gothic truss ceiling with timbered cross-bracing for support. The adjacent silo is 45 feet high and 20 feet in diameter.
To restore the barn, the original board and batten exterior was removed, planed, and stained, and now graces the interior walls of the structure. To preserve the hull-like ceiling, a new roof was constructed over the old, making the present building approximately three feet taller than the original 1915 structure. In addition, the barn was fully insulated, fitted with new shingles, and original-styled windows were added to allow for much-needed light to the interior.
To restore the silo, engineered footings, angle iron supports, and insulation were added, and a new cement block outer coating was constructed to support the original wall. Windows were added on the north and south sides, and the cone-shaped roof was fitted with new tiles, copper sheeting, and insulation.
Other preservation projects undertaken and completed in 2012 include:
The purchase of this property allows the histories of these two remarkable sites, divided for nearly a half century, to come together and become one history again.