Minnesota Historical Society to buy Hayden Center

| November 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to sell the Hayden Center on Kellogg Boulevard to the Minnesota Historical Society, which runs the Minnesota History Center across the street. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to sell the Hayden Center on Kellogg Boulevard to the Minnesota Historical Society, which runs the Minnesota History Center across the street. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to sell the Monsignor Ambrose Hayden Center, one of its chancery properties, to the Minnesota Historical Society for $4.5 million, officials announced Nov. 4.

The property is directly across Kellogg Boulevard from the Minnesota History Center, home to the Minnesota Historical Society’s museum and library.

In a Nov. 4 email to chancery corporation staff members, Father Charles Lachowitzer, the archdiocese’s moderator of the curia, said the purchase agreement allows the archdiocese to lease the building from the Minnesota Historical Society for up to a year following the closing. He expects the sale to close before March 1.

“To be clear, relocation is not imminent and you need not start packing moving boxes tomorrow morning,” he wrote.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court must approve the sale for it to proceed. The archdiocese entered Reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in January in response to mounting clergy sexual abuse claims against it.

In May, archdiocesan officials announced the archdiocese was voluntarily selling four of its St. Paul properties: the Hayden Center at 328 W. Kellogg Blvd., the chancery offices and archbishop’s residence at 226 Summit Ave.; 244 Dayton Ave., which houses the archdiocese’s evangelization and communications offices, including The Catholic Spirit; and a vacant lot at 250 Dayton Ave. The properties are adjacent to the Cathedral of St. Paul. Hayden is the first building to sell.

At the time the sale was announced, the archdiocese’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Mertens said the archdiocese was selling its buildings to generate cash to assist the archdiocese in moving through Reorganization efficiently.

The archdiocese plans to lease property for its central offices. The site has yet to be determined.

“We are pleased that the MHS has signed a purchase agreement for the building because the Hayden Center has such a rich history in St. Paul, serving thousands of area families over the years, originally as Cathedral School,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda, the archdiocese’s apostolic administrator, said in a Nov. 4 statement. “The Historical Society has been a great neighbor and we know they will continue to care for the building, the property and this great neighborhood.”

The archdiocese’s College of Consultors, an advisory council of priests, approved the sale of the Hayden Center Nov. 3. The sale was previously approved by the Archdiocesan Finance Council and the Corporate Board of Directors. The archdiocese is selling the properties through real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq.

The Hayden Center is home to most archdiocesan offices. It is named for Msgr. Ambrose Hayden, a priest and librarian who served as the Cathedral’s rector and the archdiocese’s vicar general. He died in 1997.

Built in 1914, the building served as the parish school for the Cathedral of St. Paul until 1979.

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