Memorable solution
on extremely tight

Good collaboration
with ironworker and
structural engineer

Found donor to fill
final funding gap

The Nancy Strong Nicholson Pavillon

With a $20,000 Star Grant from the City of Saint Paul, the Wilder Woods Child Development Center wanted to add a pavilion to their newly completed children’s garden. Wilder needed a durable yet inexpensive solution. Teaming with sculptor Hal Eckhard of Casa Forge and Watson-Forsberg Contractors, Gar Hargens came up with a Cor-ten steel, self sealing, rust finish “hat,” recalling the Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter books or one that Gandalf from Lord of the Rings might have worn. Three massive logs support the hat/roof, continuing the playground’s woods theme and providing an easy surface to attach banners, ropes, and sheets for dividing and identifying the space for different users. Thanks to a final gift from Close clients Dick and Nancy Nicholson, the project remained on budget and schedule.