Glensheen's formal garden reopens after restoration

Discounted admissions to the grounds will continue through Sunday.

A pelican sitting on the edge of Glensheen's fountain pool spreads its wings.
A pelican spreads its wings Friday, Sept. 2, 2022 in the recently reopened and restored formal garden at the Glensheen in Duluth
Contributed / Glensheen
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DULUTH — Glensheen's formal garden has reopened after more than a year of extensive restoration work.

Duluth's historic mansion museum announced the reopening in a Facebook post Friday, adding that admissions to the grounds will be a discounted $5 on Saturday, Sept. 3 and Sunday, Sept. 4.

The project, on the Lake Superior side of the mansion, was the result of $4 million in state bonding funds approved in 2018.

"This project has been a long time in the making and couldn't have happened without the support of so many people, from legislators to construction staff and more," Glensheen said in a Facebook post Friday.

"Our mission at Glensheen is to celebrate preservation, and by completing this critical project while also restoring the gardens to an earlier design and planting plan, we are doing just that."


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In this 2014 photo, a section of Glensheen’s formal gardens wall is bowed out and shows broken bricks and missing mortar.
Bob King / File / Duluth News Tribune

To do that, crews relied on the original blueprints as a guide, including what plants should be used and where they should go.

Prior to restoration, the brick walls of the garden were in rough shape, bowing out and falling apart. So footings were added and the walls reconstructed with original bricks. Other brick walls were tuck-pointed.

The fountain at the center was in good condition, but the pool surrounding it needed more work after that originally planned. It was restored to its original robin's-egg blue keeping with Glensheen in a early 1900s "era of significance."

Kraus-Anderson Construction workers restore the brick walls of the formal garden at Glensheen on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. The $4 million restoration project, which also includes replacing the historic estate's boiler, was part of the Minnesota State Legislature's 2018 bonding bill.
Samantha Erkkila / Duluth News Tribune

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