Sunday, July 12, 2009

618 25th Ave. N. Is Pretty Much Backhoe Bait...

Photos By John Hoff

Yet another long-vacant house in the Hawthorne Neighborhood has a hot date with backhoe destiny: word is 618 25th Ave. N. has an execution order, and it's apparently a matter of days or weeks before this one goes down like so many others. The face of North Minneapolis is getting a facelift, with one slummy building after another being replaced by grassy lots. Massive revitalization is for real, this time, not empty promises or a false start.

Those of us who are fighting to turn our neighborhood around--and succeeding by overwhelming measure, judging by recent crime stats--always have mixed feelings about demolition. On the one hand...

...crummy buildings fall into the hands of crummy people, and then we have to ride these slumlords like a rodeo steer, slapping their sorry butt with the bureaucratic equivalent of a cowboy hat. So if the building is falling apart and not cost-effective to fix, we're not sorry to see it go down. Usually. Not always. 

On the other hand, even the toughest buildings have character which can't be replaced, and as our neighborhood becomes more trendy, more revitalized every day and every hour, the destruction of these buildings may represent the loss of impossible-to-replace treasures.

Like so many other crummy buildings, 618 25th Ave. N. has my fingerprints on its history. I personally called 311 about the siding as it began to disappear, piece-by-piece. And I look forward to the day I can call 311 about a weedy, vacant lot needing mowing. 

(Am I the only one who thinks vacant lots should have a little sign with the address, for 311 and 911 purposes? How often have I had to say, "Well, it's just south of this OTHER address, which actually HAS a house on it...")


Anonymous said...

This house looks to have been built from the same plans as 2515 3rd St. N.(note the chamfered windows on the first floor bump-out) and extended in the rear in similar manner- maybe this is where our slumlord wannabe got his inspiration. 310 25th Av. N. has the same configuration but is relatively unmolested.

Unknown said...

Ironically I purchased this vacant lot after the demolition and It is becoming a community Garden

Johnny Northside! said...

See, this is one reason I'm so careful to document what's going on with addresses. To document the history as our neighborhood changes and--by leaps and bounds--improves.

Do you have a picture of the community garden? Are you actually growing stuff right now or is it in the works? What's been done as far as getting the garden going? Have you built garden beds? Inquiring minds want to know in Nomi.