Mpls green-lights demolition of historic Wedge home [PHOTOS, VIDEO]
This 2320 Colfax Avenue South home has been the topic of controversy.
KARE 11 screengrab
On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council green-lighted a developer's plan to tear down a more than 120-year-old home at 2320 Colfax Avenue South in the Wedge and replace it with a large apartment building.
The decision was a controversial one. Last year, the City Council ruled that the rooming house, constructed in 1883 by T.P. Healy, met the definition of a historic resource. But the property owner then applied for a permit to demolish it anyway. His application was approved Friday by an 11-2 vote, with Council Members Lisa Goodman and Blong Yang voting nay.
Here's a rendering of the building developers plan to build where the Healy home now stands:
The council's vote was deeply unpopular with local resident Nicole Curtis, host of HGTV's Rehab Addict. Curtis has consistently been an outspoken critic of attempts to demolish old homes and waged a campaign to persuade the city to preserve 2320 Colfax.
-- Nicole Curtis (@NCRehabAddict) April 16, 2014
Curtis even organized a series of candlelight vigils outside the home. Here she is cutting a promo on Wedge-area Council Member Lisa Bender during one of them last week:
Curtis isn't the only one hot with Bender over her support for development. The person Bender defeated last year for her City Council seat, Meg Tuthill, sided with the preservationists:
-- Philip Schwartz (@PhilmrPhil) April 25, 2014
And Bender's supporters were labeled "Benderifiers" (like "gentrifiers, get it?):
-- MRRSVLD (@MRRSVLD) April 25, 2014
During Friday's meeting, Yang denounced the attacks on Bender, who like him is a first-term council member.
(For more, click to page two.)
"For me, I look at this issue, and it's been played out in the public so much, especially on Facebook, and I have to say I was very disappointed in the personal attacks that happened... specifically to Council Member Bender," Yang said. "It's a judgment call."
Council Member Cam Gordon acknowledged he was conflicted about his vote, but invoked "the rights of the property owner" to justify supporting redevelopment.
"If it's not a historic resource I just feel obligated to let it go forward," he said.
That sentiment was echoed by Council Member Elizabeth Glidden.
"This is not about, the city ordered a demolition, this is about, what are the rights of the property owner who has said this is what he wishes to do with his property?" Glidden said. "A historic resource decision is not a final judgment on the historic merit of the property. That is also part of the legal framework in which we are at right now."
Bender didn't offer public comment on her vote during last Friday's meeting, and didn't respond to a text message seeking comment.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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