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Preservation — 6 Comments

  1. I'm so grate­ful that you are proac­tive­ly tak­ing a stance against Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion. It's amaz­ing what can be lost (in long past, street­cars) or won (recent­ly, no park­ing meters on Grand) when the com­mu­ni­ty stands togeth­er and insists on being heard. Thank you for your good work. I am mild­ly con­cerned by recent attempts to rezone Mac­Grov­e­land for mixed hous­ing units in cer­tain areas. If there is no vig­i­lance over these pro­pos­als at the out­set, they can come back to haunt in the worst ways when they are made man­i­fest fur­ther down the line.

  2. Thanks, Michelle. I hope the vig­i­lance of cit­i­zens will suf­fice to save our res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hoods from the cur­rent blight.

    I was recent­ly walk­ing on Sar­gent down by the riv­er, and there is one block with a tear­down com­plet­ed and con­struc­tion in progress; and on that block ten or a dozen oth­er hous­es fea­tured “Save Our Neigh­bor­hoods” yard signs. I haven’t seen as high a den­si­ty of the signs any­where else. It could not be any more clear that the locals hate what is hap­pen­ing, but it doesn’t look like their ani­mus has deterred a grave offense against aes­thet­ics being per­pe­trat­ed on their block.

    I think we are going to need help from new ord­nances. Law and court prece­dent are all on the side of prop­er­ty own­ers at present, and neigh­bors real­ly have lit­tle say about what hap­pens on any near­by lot.

  3. AND you didn’t even get down to Wood­lawn and the Mis­sis­sipi Riv­er Blvd.

  4. Susan, I just went down and drove Wood­lawn from Ran­dolph north to Goodrich. I only saw one house I would flag as a Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion — on the riv­er side near Jef­fer­son. If it were a trail­er it would have to be called a dou­ble-wide. It took up a good deal of the lot’s frontage. Was there some­thing else you meant to point out on Wood­lawn?

    As far as the Riv­er Dri­ve — yes, a sim­i­lar phe­nom­e­non is in play, but on a whol­ly dif­fer­ent scale. I heard some­one say a builder had pur­chased two adja­cent hous­es there for $3.7 mil­lion and either has or was about to tear them down to erect a real mon­ster. I haven’t seen this work in progress. But what is going on with homes cost­ing $1M-$2M cur­rent­ly rep­re­sents such a rar­i­fied slice of the mar­ket that I can’t get all that exer­cised about it. Besides, Mis­sis­sip­pi Riv­er Blvd. would have a much bet­ter shot at des­ig­na­tion as a his­toric dis­trict, if they chose to go that way, than more ordi­nary St. Paul res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hoods would.

  5. Oh I couldn't be hap­pi­er that this is becom­ing a dia­logue! Our home is a beau­ti­ful exam­ple of a Praire con­struc­tion. I believe that we are stew­ards of this love­ly style of home. We are to care for these as you would a work of art! I wouldn't dream of alter­ing its foot­print or its archi­tec­tur­al expres­sion. That would be so dis­re­spect­ful.

    My friend across the street no longer has any sun com­ing into her kitchen. Her neigh­bor next door con­struct­ed a very high addi­tion in the back of their house, so she has no sun­light nor can she see the sky from her kitchen win­dow!

  6. minneota modern cover

    You might be inter­est­ed in this book I saw reviewed on Min­nPost today. Lar­ry Mil­lett has been pho­tograph­ing mid­cen­tu­ry archi­tec­ture around the Cities and across the state since the 1960s, and seems to have been one of the dri­ving forces behind the grow­ing aware­ness in these parts of the need for preser­va­tion.

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