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Turnblad Mansion & Collections

Mansion Moment: Hand-crafted History

Learn how ASI's stonework restoration project ensures the Turnblad Mansion remains an asset for the community for generations to come.
April 14, 2022 By Lizzy Rode

Every piece of carved stonework on the historic Turnblad Mansion is unique. As ASI embarks upon a major project to restore the Turnblad Mansion and Carriage House in their entirety, careful attention is being paid to restoring portions of the impressive stonework to their original state.

One aspect of the stonework that will receive special attention is a set of 12 hand-carved scuppers, or openings around the Mansion’s east-facing veranda that allow water to drain from the walking surface into the gardens below. More than a century of Minnesota weather has deteriorated the original scuppers and prompted ASI to engage carving specialists to develop replacements. Each scupper is unique, with subtle differences in eye, mouth, and nose shape and size. These differences are indications of the original carvers’, Herman Schlink and Albert Corwin, individual styles.

As they work to develop these hand-carved replacements, co-owners of Northern Stone Carving, Margaret Moore and Scott Halverson, are following in the footsteps of the stone carvers before them. They first met working on the Minnesota State Capitol restoration project – this building along with the Turnblad Mansion were hand carved by the same group of stone masons. While using the same tools and techniques to produce replicas of each of the gargoyles or scuppers, each one takes around 24 hours to complete.

Watch as Margaret and Scott give a behind-the-scenes tour of their studio in Northeast Minneapolis and show what it takes to replicate the stone detail of the historic Turnblad Mansion. Learn how Margaret and Scott’s work honors the original stone carver’s work and ensures the building remains an asset for the community for generations to come.

Learn more about the Stories, Stonework & Stewardship campaign and ASI’s work to preserve the Turnblad Mansion for the future.