After reading about the Anderson Center, it made me decide to write about it also. It is indeed a jewel for Red Wing and Goodhue County, but, hopefully I don't offend anyone, I think it could bring value to more people than the current use is providing.
For many years, I have thought that this would be the perfect spot for the Goodhue County Historical Society. The society has a great museum (my parents both served on the board), but it is hard for residents to find, let alone visitors. The grounds of A.P. Anderson would be a great spot for an interpretive center, as it is the gateway to the bluff country of southeastern Minnesota. It could provide info on Native Americans, early settlers, local history, archaeology and so on. Also the location would make it feel more county, not just Red Wing.
I was showing the great-grandson of A.P. Anderson around the area a few months ago, and we stopped at the center. It was the first time I had set foot on the grounds in my 60 years, and was truly amazed at the property.
My idea is very simplistic and I don't pretend to know the intricacies of each organization, but my proposal would be to swap sites. The success of the historical society depends on location, i'm guessing the arts center/school is not as much.
I know it's complicated, and trying not to offend anyone, just throwing an idea out for some consideration.