The Winton Guest House will be on the move again.
St. Thomas must move the guest house – designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry for Penny and Mike Winton from 1983 to 1987 – from the former Daniel C. Gainey Conference Center property in Owatonna, Minnesota, by the end of August 2016. St. Thomas sold the Gainey Center earlier this year.
Kirt Woodhouse donated the Winton Guest House to St. Thomas in 2007 as a work of art, with the provision that the distinctive, sculptural home be relocated from its original site on Lake Minnetonka. The house is composed of five separate geometrically shaped rooms projecting from a central 35-foot-tall pyramidal living space. The building was divided into eight sections for the 110-mile move south to Owatonna in 2008; the heaviest piece weighed 80 tons.
Gehry spoke at the dedication of the restored home in October 2011, saying, “It’s a special treat to have one [of my buildings] moved … They did an incredible job putting it together.”
St. Thomas hopes the moving process will commence during the summer of 2015, although the final destination for the building is undetermined. St. Thomas is exploring options for the future of the guest house, including moving it to the St. Paul campus or selling it to a conservation-minded owner who can successfully relocate the house.
“I am committed to the architectural legacy of Frank Gehry in Minnesota,” said Dr. Victoria Young, professor of modern architectural history and chair of the art history department at St. Thomas. “We are working with a number of professional and scholarly organizations to ensure the continued good stewardship of the building. We saved the building once, and we are going to do it again.”
Here are previous Newsroom stories on Gehry and the Winton Guest House: