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The stone beach house at Red Bridge Park is slated for rehab in 2015.

Looking for input on beach house

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By Anna Erickson

The Park Rapids Park Board is seeking public input on suggestions for the future use of the stone beach house in Red Bridge Park.

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The beach house is scheduled for rehabilitation in 2015 and Park Board members are interested in getting some guidance from the public about what should be included.

A study was done recently that included history about the beach house.

The stone beach house in Red Bridge Park is being evaluated for possible nomination to the National Historic Register.

The Minnesota Historical Society awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant to the city of Park Rapids to support evaluation of the beach house.

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are made possible by the Minnesota Legislature from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund created with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution in November 2008. The grants are awarded to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state.

A consultant with Hess, Roise and Company in Minneapolis did some field work on the beach house. She later prepared an overview of preliminary conclusions, including recommendations on the structure’s areas of significance and period of significance.

Part of that evaluation had conclusions about whether the beach house was historically significant and could possibly be included on the National Register.

The Park Rapids bathhouse and the adjacent land that was part of the park during the period of significance, 1936-1963, appear eligible for National Register listing under Criterion A, the study said. The dates of the period of significance extend from the completion of the building’s construction to the 50-year cut-off date established by National Register guidelines.

The property is locally significant for its association with federal relief programs of the Depression in the areas of “Community Planning and Development” and “Recreation,” the study added. The bathhouse is also eligible under Criterion C for its noteworthy use of fieldstone, a local adaptation to WPA funding restrictions. It maintains integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association, the study said.

City Planner Dan Walker said in order to be considered for inclusion on the National Register additional paperwork would need to be filed. It was decided not to pursue that.

All comments should be submitted by mail to City Planner Dan Walker, 212 Second Street West, Park Rapids, MN 56470 or email dwalker@arvig.net by Sept. 1, 2014.

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Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
(218) 732-3364
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