Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Image from Southside Pride, and photo from "Ranty."
Although this is not a north Minneapolis-specific issue, it affects the lives of many on this blog and tactics could be repeated here. With a rueful sense of irony, I think of the previous JNS post, where I speculated that the owner of 2515 3rd St N might be employing the same tactics.
The following message was posted by Wizard Marks on the Minneapolis Issues List...
"As I type, the city is setting up the paraphrenalia for the house munching machine which will shortly take down Fjelde House as it has become a hazard.
Yesterday (?) the owner hired men to secure the roof before january 1, the deadline set by the city for that inspections order. The workers "dropped a load of lumber from roof joists. It crashed through to the basement taking the whole corner of the house with it. The city's structural engineer examined it and judged it unsafe and wrote the order for immediate demolition.
One can speculate from here to eternity, but the house is, or will be, gone within an hour or two."
Moments after reading this message, I recieved a phone call from Connie Nompelis. She informed me that a preservationist stood in front of the bulldozer on the front porch of the Fjelde House before demolition began. She also added that a structural engineer employed by the owner was the one who deemed the structure to be unsafe. Quite a conflict of interest, if you ask me.
It is widely speculated that the owners deliberately allowed or directly caused this house to fall into disrepair so that they could arrange for its demolition and replace it with a parking lot. Let's hope they are fully assessed for the demolition, although no price can be paid for the damage they have wrought. A historic house is lost forever and cannot be replaced.