Tuthill House is set to be restored after concerned citizens funded the project to save the historic home.
In 2020, Sioux Falls City Council stated in public meeting it would demolish the home located in Tuthill Park due to a lack of funds needed to repair it, though it had been in use for years as a paid venue for the public.
Thanks to the efforts of neighbors who set out to save it, Tuthill House will start construction in October to renovate and open again by June 2022.
“The city council basically said if you raise the money, you can save the house,” Diane de Koeyer, neighborhood and preservation planner at the City of Sioux Falls said.
The neighborhood quickly formed the Tuthill Park House Restoration Project to raise nearly $300,000 for restoring the home. Now restoration begins in October.
Beatch Construction is going through the permits and beginning the process of restoring Tuthill House from drab linoleum and other features from its last project in 1993 to a restoration of a more original design when it was built in 1876 by settler William Howie.
There will be outdoor and indoor restorations, notably a reopened second floor with an overall freshened-up but historical look. De Koeyer noted that Siouxland Heritage Museum helped plan out what restoration might look like.
“It was solid but needed to have the siding, windows and roofing replaced just due to age. It’s 143,” Kathy English of the Tuthill Park House Restoration Project said. “We started with the outside. We decided to move forward with the interior and second floor since it’s been sealed off since 1993.”
So the city, the neighborhood association and the construction company got to work planning it out.
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Upstairs, which had its staircase removed in the last project and had been sealed, plus had suffered some damage from a storm, will be the most major renovation.
“We’ll open it up for a bride room and a groom room,” Jon Beatch, project manager at Beatch Construction said. There will also be a reopened bathroom.
However, the renovation will still be small and limited on the second floor.
The stairs to the second floor will have no option, at all, for wheelchairs to access the top. Although it is a commercial building, Tuthill House is still small enough to exclude that feature.
“There will be no lift or way to access that I know of,” Beatch said.
There will be other pieces of repair as well.
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Exteriors will be painted, the brick chimney will be repaired and all porches and decks will be replaced, according to public city data. In addition, an electric insert will be put in the fireplace. Joists and windows will be made sound as well.
“We’re tearing up the vinyl and restoring the original floors, getting rid of the popcorn ceilings and fluorescent lighting,” English said.
By June, the improved Tuthill House will be ready thanks to the remarkable combination of work and fundraising throughout Sioux Falls. From contractors donating some services to the swift organization of the Tuthill restoration group, de Koeyer said it’s highly unusual to see a project come together so quickly.
“Everyone’s excited, even the city is,” de Koeyer said. “It’ll be a nice asset for the city to have that venue restored especially because it’s a smaller venue, and it’s affordable for a lot of people.”