The Laird Norton Company’s gift to Winona State University has been formally approved by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.
The Laird Norton Company approached WSU about assuming ownership of the property at 125 West Fifth Street for educational and public purposes. The 30,000-square-foot facility, which features a two-story atrium and a full basement, will be used to house offices and studios for the WSU Department of Art and Graphic Design, along with galleries for the exhibition of student and faculty art, art owned by the WSU Foundation, and community art.
“The Laird Norton Company is proud to donate this historically significant building to Winona State University, so it will remain a vibrant part of the community for generations to come,” said Jeffery S. Vincent, Chief Executive Officer, Laird Norton Company, LLC.
The building was constructed in 1916 as a corporate office headquarters for the Laird Norton Company, one of the early lumber firms established in the City of Winona. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in July 2014, in recognition of its role in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture.
“Through the generosity of the Laird Norton Company, Winona State has been presented with an opportunity to support art and design throughout southeastern Minnesota,” said Scott R. Olson, president of Winona State. “The Laird Norton Center for the Arts and Design will allow Winona State to add studios, galleries, offices and community collaboration space to support our excellent program in Art and Design and to further establish Winona as a destination for the arts.”
For more information, call the WSU Communications Office at 507-457-5024.