The Bierman House is a historical structure in Olmsted County. It is known as the gatehouse to Mayowood. The house came and about 70 acres was purchased by Olmsted County through a grant to be used for the purposes of parkland and recreation. The house was to keep its historical registry. Although the house was purchases, the County did have the funds to restore it and over the years it fell into great disrepair. Several months ago, the county board released a “request for proposal” for any interested party who was interested in restoring the house. The estimate for restoring the house to stabilize the foundation and exterior to stop further deterioration is about $400,000. Another $200,000 to $300,000 would be needed to restore the interior.
Two RFP’s were received one from the Rochester City Parks and one from Powers Ventures. Both proposals would restore the Bierman House. The Rochester City Parks proposal would keep the Bierman house in the public domain and be accessed by the public. (The Plummer House is in a similar situation.) The Powers Venture proposal would create a private residence (returning the house to the tax roles).
My position is that the Bierman House should remain in the public sector so that it can be appreciated by the general public and be included in the historical narrative of Olmsted County. My position did not prevail at the June 5thCounty Board meeting. The Board voted to give Powers Ventures 60 days to adjust their proposal; the City Parks proposal will be reconsidered if the Powers Ventures proposal does not meet the 60 limit.
The good result is that the Bierman House will be preserved and that is good for the community.