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Monday, February 21, 2011
6:27 AM | Posted by The I.I. | | Edit Post
This blog thread posted by the Irving Inquisition uses some explicit language, as well as depicting some aspects of life in North Minneapolis that some readers may find objectionable. Reader discretion is advised.
The 1522 Hillside Controversy
Feast your eyes on 1522 Hillside Avenue North, Minneapolis MN. 55411. This one particular property has become a divisive lightning rod of controversy amongst NoMi residents over the years, and now it’s clear that the brewing tension over this address is boiling over.
Twenty years ago, 1522 was licensed and rented out by a Robert E. Lindahl Jr. Six years later, somebody by ne the name of Theresa Bolger assumed ownership of it. She rented it out for a while under that name for several years until the license’s name changed to Theresa Gubrud. Since the contact address was the same, I could only assume that there was a marriage or divorce that played a role there. In Y2K, Aaron Ormiston assumed rental responsibility of this property, and was licensed to rent it out through 2004.
In the thirteen years this property was legally rented out, it was chopped up, turned into a boarding house, had massive quantities of its original woodwork and glasswork stripped, and for lack of a better word; was essentially raped.
Years later in 2008, the property was officially registered as being a vacant building. In 2009 it was condemned. Since that time, 1522 has simply sat there; boarded, ugly, dilapidated, and hopeless.
At this point one may be asking where the controversy begins. That’s an excellent question in my humble opinion. This victim of slumlord mismanagement has been in the target reticles of Hillside residents for years. On the other hand, some preservationists identified this property as a place to save because it’s considered to be historic and a mansion. The crux of the controversy is essentially this: a group of people want this property demolished, and another group of people want this property spared from demolishment and restored.
Suppose the property were to be spared, what would it cost so revitalize it to something approximating its original glory? I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea. Urban Homeworks took a gander at it, and said no way. (That’s probably for the best anyway) Somebody else commented that it would take upwards of $400,000.00 to restore the property. Some individuals commented about the faulty structural integrity of the foundation as a source of terminal damage. Yet some experienced preservationists suggested that the property could be restored for significantly less than $400,000.00 and also challenged the notion that the foundation was compromised.
Interestingly enough, the varying view points of view on this subject are internal, mainly NoMi residents. Clearly this is a problem that North Minneapolitans aren’t singing Kumbaya on.
If you’ve read this far into the post and you’re wondering why any of this even matters, consider this. If the money existed to repair the house, it probably would have been done. Yet the fact remains is this; the money doesn’t exist, plain and simple. Demolishing the house will cost thousands. Rebuilding the house will cost hundreds of thousands.
So what’s the next step? Well, I think the next step is to have a paint-ball fight on the property. I can think of at least a dozen people in the Jordan neighborhood that I’d love to shoot in tender areas with an automatic paintball gun… Alas, I digress… back to the next step about 1522 Hillside.
Me personally, I don’t particularity have an opinion on the fate of the 1522 Hillside house. I’m far too invested in carrying out the purge to curtail slumlords and thuggery. Yet this blogger has been sucked into the fray and here’s why. Some anonymous blogger left me a complaint stating the following which I will quote verbatim, errors and all:
“Eric Johnson, vice president of the JACC council, I have been trying to get an answer to the question but Jeff Skrens seems to not be publishing my comments. So the question is why did you target the house in question for demolition when people experienced in the subject say that this house has potential? So why is it recommended by the JACC for demolition? Thanks for answering my question. http://north-by-northside.blogspot.com/2011/02/100-abandoned-homes-pictorial.html”
I’ll be more than happy to answer that comment, ANONYMOUS 2/19/11. First of all, I’m not a vice president… Vice presidents get paid big bucks! I’m the Vice Chair; which means I volunteer for free and serve as a punching bag. Also, you misspelled Jeff’s last name, its Skrenes, not Skrens. To answer your question; last month I sent a communiqué on behalf of JACC, where I volunteer at, recommending that 1522 Hillside be seized due to tax forfeiture. Tax forfeiture is of course the inevitable result of not paying your property taxes. 1522 was but one address on the list we were working with. If the city wants to revitalize or demolish the house once they assume ownership, that’s their business. In terms of that house having potential… yeah, I’m not so sure about that.
I would like to welcome everybody’s opinions regarding this subject; Irving Inquisition is going to take the Switzerland position on 1522 Hillside. Obviously this is a very polarizing subject, as it affects me personally due to the fact that I’m close friends people that fall in on both sides of the fence for this issue.
What do you think??
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- The 1522 Hillside Controversy
- Reality Check
- Mea Culpa
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- ▼ February (11)