Thursday, April 30, 2009
Unloved And Unmourned, 2125 Lyndale Ave. N. Goes Down (Clues To "Smiley Faced Killers" Forever Lost?)
Photos By John Hoff
This tiny little house at 2125 Lyndale Ave. N. was one of the first houses I looked at in North Minneapolis. The squatting activity there was flagrant. In fact, whoever was trying to sell the house eventually just GAVE UP on replacing the locks on the doors, so often would the door get kicked in...
I don't think anybody in the neighborhood was watching and fretting about this small, ugly building...which, the truth be told, could have been a useful "mother in law cottage" to the house next door, a big rambling property I call "Squat-O-Topia," where there is ALSO a lot of signs of squatting.
There was an odd, creepy smiley face in the upstairs window of this house. I can't help but think of the "Smiley Face Killer" theory about a group of murderers knocking off college-aged young men, by forcing them to drink too much alcohol (something they're not inclined to do in the first place) and then la-dee-dah-dee throwing them off bridges or walking them into rivers.
COULD THIS HAVE BEEN THE EVIL LAIR OF THE KILLER CULT? WERE ALL THE POSSIBLE CLUES LOST IN THE DEMOLITION?
OK, obviously I had the sarcasm font activated while the snark button was on. Sure, I don't know if I actually buy the "Smiley Face Killer" theory. But I don't know if I want to make fun of it THAT much, either.
In any case, some WEEKS ago the tired little "mother-in-law cottage" at 2125 Lyndale Ave. N. went down, unmourned and unloved. It should not be, however, utterly un-noted, un-remarked, and un-documented. At one time, it was a sweet little cottage. The relationship to the property at 2127 Lyndale Ave. N. seems obvious, even though the property at 2125 was (apparently) split off in a way that would NEVER BE ALLOWED TODAY. Somebody must have cared deeply about a family member, so deeply they were willing to BUILD A HOUSE for their proximity and comfort. And yet they didn't want that person living under their same roof.
Who were these people? What was the story?
We think we're losing crappy buildings in this rush to North Minneapolis revitalization, but we're not JUST losing old buildings. If no building is there to make us ask questions, why would we ever go digging for the story of who was there before? And if we don't know who was there before, what were their victories and defeats, what challenges did they face and how did they overcome those challenges....how will we avoid repeating the same mistakes?