MANKATO — Larry and Jaci Lageson have restored railings, picked period-appropriate wallpaper and drapes, repaired damage and generally protected the historic character of their 110-year-old house. Now they're getting ready to sell it after 35 years, but first they've got one more addition to make to the Pleasant Street home.
The couple has agreed to make their historic residence the first privately-owned home in Mankato to become a Heritage Preservation Landmark. Known as the Eberhart House because it was built by a Swedish immigrant who went on to become Minnesota Gov. A.O. Eberhart, the home will join six other Heritage Preservation Landmarks already on the protected list — The First Presbyterian Church on Hickory Street, the Stahl House (home to the Wine Cafe) on Riverfront, the Betsy and Tacy houses on Center Street, the Hubbard House on Broad Street and the Blue Earth County Historic Courthouse.
"It's just always been something that we loved," Jaci Lageson said of the historic nature of the stately home. "I was never someone who liked real contemporary things, and neither did he."
Larry Lageson didn't hesitate to accept the Landmark designation when city staff called, saying he already wanted to make sure the new owner cared about preserving the house's unique character.
"In part, that's going to be part of the sale," said Lageson, who is selling because the home seems too large for a couple with kids who have left the nest. "It's actually ideal for a family with two or three or four kids."
As a Heritage Preservation Landmark, substantial changes to the exterior of the home will need the OK of the Heritage Preservation Commission. But Lageson sees that as little different than what was required to maintain the house's status on the National Registry of Historic Places.