Vesterheim Commons – Preparing the Public Gathering Space

Vesterheim Commons - Preparing the Public Gathering Space

In this update, Vesterheim President/CEO Chris Johnson is joined by Chad Goodsen, Field Superintendent for McGough Construction. Chad is the eyes and ears of the project, making sure there’s safety protocol and that the operation is running smoothly. They talk about some of the features in the new first-floor public gathering flex space and the mock-up process used to make sure the planned ideas are working well and everyone is pleased with the results.

This space on the first floor of the building is designed to be easy to rearrange for presentations, classes, and visitors.

One feature is the oculus that will look up to the second floor veranda. In order to guide the construction, a template has been set with wood and, as they add the permanent metal studs, they tear out the temporary mock up.

The ceiling in this space will be wooden slats made from a beautiful western red cedar. There is a lot to consider with the complex geometry since the ceiling is at different levels throughout and it hides a lot of plumbing, electricity, piping, conduit, etc. The contractors have been creating small sections and testing it out to be sure it’s right.

The floor also has some special features. It looks like regular concrete now but when it’s complete, it will look like the test area shown in the video. It will be ground down an eighth of an inch to expose the interesting aggregate, and then it will be polished. Also outlined in the floor, there will be a map of Norway.

We can’t wait to welcome visitors to this space. Thank you everyone who has helped make this project possible!

We invite you to be part of Vesterheim’s bold future now by donating here!

Help Us Grow Vesterheim

I am interested in (select all that apply)(Required)

Need Help Now?

If you want to speak to someone about how you can support Vesterheim’s bold new future, call Diane Wagner or Kim Toussaint.

Diane Wagner: 563-382-9681 x103

Kim Toussaint: 563-382-9681 x105

A Re-imagined, Open, and Accessible Heritage Park

The first major project of the Strong Roots | Bold Future campaign is the re-imagining of Heritage Park, the outdoor exhibit and program space for Vesterheim’s 12 historic buildings. Heritage Park opened in summer 2021. Guided by the Snøhetta master plan, Heritage Park has been designed by Damon Farber Landscape Architects to be an accessible and open public space reminiscent of Norway’s forests and glades. Here, people can connect with one another amidst tangible historic buildings set in nature.

Beginning at the plaza that depicts the 1825 voyage of immigrants on the ship Restauration, meandering pathways will guide visitors around gentle glades, past a community amphitheater, and through the expanded parkwhere history comes alive by experiencing how Norwegian pioneers lived.

Special care has been given to create an environmentally sensitive community park with native plantings and woodlands appropriate to this Driftless Area of America’s Midwest, permeable pavers, and sustainable stormwater management.