December 5, 2015
Located on the western edge of Red Wing, Minnesota, population 16,000, the Anderson Center at Tower View occupies the former estate of Dr. and Mrs. Alexander Pierce Anderson. Dr. Anderson, a first generation American of Swedish ancestry, gained worldwide renown for developing the American breakfast cereals "Quaker Puffed Wheat" and "Quaker Puffed Rice".
The Tower View estate totals 350 acres and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its distinctive Georgian Rivival buildings and cylindrical red brick water tower have long been familiar Minnesota landmarks.
Built from 1915-1921, the Tower View estate served as the Anderson family residence, a full-fledged working farm, and as a vibrant research laboratory where more than 15,000 cereal experiments were conducted for the Quaker Oats Company. Experiments were not limited to the puffing process and included the commercial development of a plantago hard psyllium seed that could withstand climate extremes.
Dr. Anderson was also fascinated by the vortex nature of the tornadoes, and he conducted hundreds of experiments at Tower View that dealt with various aeronautical theories and devices. His estimable life also included achievements as a farmer, educator, scientist, essayist, botanist, and naturalist.
From 1941-1945, the Anderson Institute for Biological Research, a non-profit scientific organization, was established at Tower View. Numerous research projects were conducted in the original laboratory buildings, including ones centered on the care of head injuries suffered during World War II, poliomyelitis, and radiation.
In 1945, Tower View served as the home of Central Research Laboratories, one of our nation's principal manufacturers of robotic arms for the handling of uranium and other radioactive materials.
From 1971-1995, Tower View became a rehabilitation center dedicated to helping those with physical disabilities, and was also home to a satellite campus of the Minnesota Southeast Technical College offering courses from carpentry to energy conservation technology.