Bigwigs talk mansion-saving

A state senator and head of state parks talk about how to keep Bidwell Mansion open

The Chico City Council chambers brimmed with hundreds of concerned locals looking for a solution to the upcoming closure of Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park. State Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, organized the town gathering last Wednesday, Nov. 2, reaching out to the community concerning the park’s future.

Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, flew out from Washington, D.C., for the meeting. “We are looking at the systematic annihilation of our state heritage,” she said.

Coleman stated that, although legally separating from state parks is an option, there are many benefits to partnering with the agency. LaMalfa said he envisions a series of local fundraisers to speed up the rescue of Bidwell Mansion. “Dollars will show our seriousness to the state,” he said.

The mansion is scheduled to remain open three days a week until the end of next April, when it will be shuttered and its contents moved to a warehouse on the McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento County.