Vesterheim to restore Water Street building

Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School, purchased a building in downtown Decorah in January, with a goal to support its folk art education programs and operations, including a new forging classroom.

Located at 418 W. Water Street, across Mechanic Street from Vesterheim’s Westby-Torgerson Education Center, this building recently housed the Northeast Iowa Montessori School, which has relocated to a property on South Avenue in Decorah. Longtime Decorah residents will recall the building was formerly Christian Camera.

A Vesterheim spokesperson said that preliminary engineering analysis has been completed, and when the Board of Trustees met in early May, they approved a spending authority request to support completing the final design work for Vesterheim’s forging classroom. The forging space will be located on the lower level of the building, which features high ceilings and concrete floor, walls, and pillars. Remodeling work plans are set to happen in 2024 with the goal of opening the remodeled space for forging classes in 2025.

Full article in the May 9 Public Opinion newspaper.

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