Kensington Rune Stone Center

Douglas County, Minnesota

Discovered in 1898 by Swedish immigrant, Olaf Ohman, the Kensington Rune Stone purports to be a record of Scandinavian exploration of North America in the year 1362. While the original Rune Stone is now in the collection of the Rune Stone Museum in nearby Alexandria, Minnesota, the place of discovery, the Ohman farmstead, did not have a suitable facility to tell the story of how the Rune Stone was uncovered and about the man who found it.

Managed by the Parks Department, the Kensington Rune Stone Visitor Center establishes an interpretive center to educate visitors to the site while also providing a gathering place for families and friends in the pristine setting of the Ohman Farmstead – as an all-season park shelter and a community gathering place. Materials with a close relationship to the Earth, both in their manufacturing and tactile qualities, were used throughout the construction of the Kensington Rune Stone Visitors Center, including a stone fireplace at the center of the facility, composed of Greywacke stone, the same material as the Rune Stone.

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A heavy-timber public gathering space with a 24-hour lobby designed to reflect the surrounding park.