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Neighbors voice concerns over the future of Tuthill House

Residents voice concerns over the future of Tuthill House
Residents voice concerns over the future of Tuthill House(Scott Engen)
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 6:17 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The future of Tuthill House is up in the air.

Located in Tuthill Park, the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Board recommends the landmark be torn down. However, residents in the neighborhood would like to see it renovated.

The Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Board has declared Tuthill House surplus and is recommending it’s demolished.

Kathy English has lived near Tuthill Park for more than 40 years. She says Tuthill House is a significant part of the city’s history, and it would be sad to see it go.

“(The house) belongs here, this is the Tuthill family farm home, from when this was Otanka Acres, their farm,” English said. “It’s part of the history of the city and it’s part of the history of the park.”

Sioux Falls Park Operations Manager Kelby Mieras says he understands why some residents would like to preserve the landmark, but that Tuthill House requires significant renovation, to the tune of about $200,000.

That figure covers a new roof, siding, windows, doors, HVAC system, asbestos abatement and contractor fees, but accounts for no improvements to the home’s interior.

“We’ve been having this conversation for some time, are we going to put that investment into it or not?” Mieras said. “And so, at this point, we’ve determined that the best method forward would be to invest those funds in other improvements within the park instead of in that house.”

With the Parks and Recreation Board casting its official demolition recommendation of the home and its detached garage back on November 18th, the future of Tuthill House is now in the hands of the city council.

“Any time you have an opportunity to save something of historical consequence you want to give it your best effort and every opportunity to do that, so I’m sure everybody is going to try,” Sioux Falls City Councilor Marshall Selberg said.

English believes the cost of restoring the home is well worth it, and it would keep the house as a viable event venue.

“If this is simply a financial decision, that’s something that can be handled,” English said. “There are park benefactors, there are individuals that have come forward, so we need to look at options, and they are out there.”

The demolition resolution is set to go in front of the city council on December 8th.

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