A cabin built while Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House now offers a whole new atmosphere for anyone wanting to have a picnic or special event at Snell-Crawford Park in Fort Dodge.
The leaky roof has been replaced, and new windows allow light to fill the once cave-like interior.
A nearby restroom building has been completely renovated as well.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Kevin Lunn, Fort Dodge parks and forestry superintendent, checks out the grill located next to the newly refurbished shelter house in Snell-Crawford Park.
''I want them to come and I want them to be pleasantly surprised,'' Kevin Lunn, the city's parks and forestry superintendent, said of visitors to the park on Williams Drive.
All the work was done by city employees and volunteers.
''We didn't hire out anything,'' Lunn said.
He said about $5,000 to $6,000 was spent on needed supplies.
The cabin and restroom building are near the parking lot and volleyball court. Both structures were built in 1936.
They are the most recent buildings the city parks crews have renovated. Last year, the cabin at Oleson Park at the south end of 17th Street was remodeled.
Lunn said the work at the Snell-Crawford Park cabin began last September with the replacement of the roof. Work continued throughout the winter.
Boards which had covered the windows for years were removed and new windows were installed.
Inside, a new ceiling, complete with ceiling fans, was put in place. Lunn said one of the two fireplaces was restored, while the other was closed off and can no longer be used.
A new serving counter was added to one wall inside the cabin. People gathering for a meal can plug in more than one roaster or hot pot there without fear of blowing a fuse, as was common in the past, because MidAmerican Energy is providing improved electrical service to the cabin, according to Lunn.
The majority of the work was done by early spring, Lunn said. He added that crews then had to wait for some warmer weather before doing the final painting.
Lunn said city employees Kim Leadley, James Ort, Rich Peterson and Aaron Steburg did the work.
''We have a great group of talented guys in our parks and forestry department,'' Lunn said. ''That's how we save the city money.''
He said Bob Patterson, a retired plumber from Fort Dodge, did the plumbing work in the restroom building. He volunteered his services, just as he did for the Oleson Park project last year.
Members of the Fort Dodge Noon Rotary Club did some landscaping around the buildings.
Lunn said the tentative plan is to begin renovating the cabin in Hydro-Electric Park at Third Avenue Northwest and Riverside Drive this fall.