Richfield, Minnesota is known as the state’s “oldest suburb,” growing rapidly in the postwar era. The Bartholomew House is one of the only remaining structures from an earlier chapter in the city’s history, dating to 1852, when the area was first opened up to white settlement. Riley Bartholomew moved with his family from Ohio to stake a claim here, and built the house in three stages.
The Bartholomew House stayed in the family until the mid-1960s, when it was purchased by the Richfield Historical Society, which operates the building as a house museum.
The Richfield Historical Society hired MacDonald & Mack to complete a Historic Structure Report as the first step in a long-term restoration effort. We investigated the building and its systems, in the process identifying a number of issues pertaining to life safety and accessibility, along with general conditions concerns. Our archival research also revealed new details about the origins of the house, including the order in which its three component pieces were constructed. These findings offered new insight for docent tours and, more important, information useful in the ongoing maintenance of the entire structure.