Runestone replica's location to remain as isA large replica of the Kensington Runestone isn't going anywhere soon.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
A large replica of the Kensington Runestone isn't going anywhere soon.
At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council agreed with a request from the Runestone Museum to keep the replica right where it is – near Highway 27 East.
That's a change from the decision the council made this past July to try to move the replica to a more visible, central location near the Big Ole Viking statue.
The replica has been in the same spot since it was donated by the Alexandria Kiwanis Club in 1951. Moving it would ruin its historic value, said Julie Blank, museum director.
She told the council that the museum agrees with the State Historic Preservation Office that the replica is an "historic tribute" to the 1950s' era of community boosterism.
Blank said the museum plans to apply to have the replica placed on the state's historic register.
Although motorists haven't been able to drive to the replica directly off Highway 27 since the highway was realigned, the museum hasn't had problems directing people how to get to it, Blank said. They just tell people take 6th Avenue, she said.
She added that the museum appreciates the city park department's work in keeping the replica site looking nice with landscaping and flowers.
City council members said they appreciated the museum for providing input on the replica's location. Back in July, they thought the museum and the Chamber of Commerce would support moving the replica to a more visible downtown location.
Keeping the replica where it is will not only make the museum happy; it will save the city the expense of moving it and building a base for it.
"Now is not the time for unnecessary expenses," said council member Sara Carlson.
The council voted 4-0 to authorize city staff to work with the Runestone Museum on improving the visibility and parking at the replica's current site.