Joyce Estate, Oberservatory, Chippewa National Forest Road 2144, 3 miles north of County Road 335, Grand Rapids, Itasca County, MN
Significance: ... the Observatory the Joyce Family's name for their rustic, log-framed gazebo was built "in the early 1920s." A description of the Joyce Estate, published in 1922, noted that the grounds included an "observatory, having an elevation of 100 feet, overlooking the lake." A survey of the Joyce Estate, conducted in 1986, described the Observatory as follows: "One story, approximately 7'0" floor to ceiling. Octagonal plan, approximately 4'6" along each side and 10'4" across the flats. Unpeeled 'rustic' log construction. Log posts support 2x4 framed polygonal roof with radiating half-log tails at eaves, green composition shingles, and wood flagpole. Half-log, patterned flat ceiling. Chinoiserie log rails and eave lattice. Tongue-and-groove flooring and timber sleepers (reused) on log blocking on grade. Half-log skirting below floor." Shortly after a reuse study of the Joyce Estate was completed in 1989, the Observatory blew down in a storm. Its site is marked by the structure's octagonal-plan, log-sill foundation, which retains half-log skirting, half-log floor joists, and portions of tongue-and-groove flooring. ... The Observatory is a ruin consisting of an octagonal-plan, log-sill foundation.
Survey number: HABS MN-146-S