Glensheen estate may get revamp

Raj Chaduvula

A University of Minnesota tourist attraction could receive $26 million for repairs, pending state Legislature approval. 
 
 
Duluth’s 39-room Glensheen Mansion, owned by the University, is one of the state’s most famous historic homes and was built by iron mining magnate Chester Congdon and his wife, Clara, between 1905 and 1908. 
 
 
A House of Representatives bill and its Senate counterpart have requested $26 million from the state for the repairs. 
 
 
Dan Hartman, the estate’s director, said renovations are decades overdue and that several areas of the building are in critical need of immediate attention. 
 
 
Restoring the property’s boathouse, tiered garden and servants’ porch are crucially important, said co-author of the House bill Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown, and would require $8 million to complete. 
 
 
The $26 million request would cover all the repairs to the estate, Murphy said. 
 
 
The Glensheen estate gained national notoriety in 1977 after Elisabeth Congdon — Chester and Clara’s last surviving child — and her night nurse were murdered in the house by Elisabeth’s son-in-law.