The cottage, built in 1900, was home to St. Olaf's President John Kildahl. As the top of Old Main Hill is reconstructed in preparation for building the multi- million dollar Science Center complex, many wondered where the cottage would go.
Some suggested relocating the cottage to another part of campus and letting it serve as off-campus housing. In a letter to the editor last week, Christopher Blum '07 suggested the cottage could become a museum of sorts for the school's archives.
"I think that Manitou Cottage should have become the current president's house," said Becca Wheeler '07. "Manitou Cottage should be renovated and placed on Ole Ave."
St. Olaf administrators decided that the cottage would best be moved off campus. The cottage is for sale for $500, a negotiable price, and the college has had three or four serious potential buyers.
"At the end of the day, the cost of having to renovate the cottage just wasn't worth it," said Assistant Vice President of Facilities Pete Sandberg. "If we picked up and reinstalled the cottage, current codes would have to be met and it would be too expensive [and] not a good use of the college's resources."
With Manitou Cottage removed, Old Main Hill will become a more central area of campus. "With more green space next to the Science Complex, the clearing will bring Steensland Hall and Old Main directly into campus," said Sandberg.
Manitou Cottage was used as the president's house until 1917. After 1917, Boe House replaced Manitou Cottage as the president's residence. Boe House "has a bigger historical impact on the college," said Sandberg because it served as a president's home for 55 years.
"I think we should charge more for the house than $500," said Liz Frosch '07. "It's a beautiful home, and we need the new money for the Science Complex."
The International and Off-Campus studies offices are currently located on the upper level of Steensland Hall. The Asian Studies department is located in the bottom floor of Steensland.
Professor Eric Lund, Director of International and Off-Campus Studies, was a little sad to see his former home go. "We had a homey situation in Manitou," Lund said. "It was a historic building and I'll be sad not seeing the cottage on campus."