Another Loss

“On December 18, 1961 [February 2018, 100 years after the women who founded the Handicraft Guild closed the school] wrecking trucks rumbled through the streets of downtown Minneapolis toward a rendezvous with the past. [10th and Marquette] Their destination was the corner of Third Street and Second Avenue South,[9th, 10th and Marquette] where for seventy-one years [111 and 104 years] the Metropolitan Building [Handicraft Guild] (originally known as the Northwestern Guaranty Loan Building) had towered above its neighbors like a “small red mountain.” But with Minneapolis in the midst of the greatest urban renewal project in its history, the Metropolitan [the Handicraft Guild] was about to come down, a victim of age, politics and ideology. [greed,lies and corruption]

Once, it had been the pride of the city, the building that more than any other announced to the world that Minneapolis had come of age. [The ONLY Handicraft Guild built specifically for women in the U.S.] “Here there has been erected…the most magnificent office building in the whole, round world.” gushed the Minneapolis Journal when the great sandstone structure opened on May 31, 1890….visitors strolled along the building’s glass floors (which occassioned some fright), toured its four hundred shops and offices, and fought off vertigo to gaze across the central light court—a twelve-story-high fantasy in glass and iron that was among the greatest spaces of its kind ever built in America…[Built for women artists and educators by master architects. Has skylights, tile by Ernest Batchelder, incredible woodwork and a Guild Hall.]

By the early 1950s, [2013 – present] however, the Metropolitan no longer seemed so grand a place, in part because of the company it kept…The Gateway was in desperate need of redevelopment. [deliberate demolition by neglect] But the solution chosen by the city was an extreme one—total destruction [total destruction]…All told, nearly two hundred buildings spread over seventeen square blocks were demolished. This amounted to 40 percent of the city’s historic central business district. [historic=obstacle to progess] The Metropolitan was among the last buildings in the Gateway to fall, and it did not go down without a fight. [the Handicraft Guild won’t go gentle into its destruction]

A loose coalition of architects, historians, and people who simply loved the building did their best to keep it standing. Their efforts proved fruitless. [developers get everything they want] Despite the building’ s architectural and historical significance, it had few friends in high places, and the temper of the times was against it. [Sacrificed on the altar of “re-election” and Corruption, Greed, Hypocrisy, Indifference]

Several years earlier, a prominent academic historian, displaying the bias of the era, had written that “perhaps no single building by a Minneapolis architect is worthy of measurement or preservation.” Such thinking was endemic in the 1950s and 1960s,[2013-present] when old buildings generally were viewed as aesthetic embarrassments, worthless relics cluttering the road to progress. An attorney for the Minneapolis Housing and Redevelopment Authority called the Metropolitan “a monstrosity in the eyes of most observers.” [The same load will be shoveled this time]

The Minnesota Supreme Court, in an opinion permitting destruction
of the building. was equally unsympathetic. Allowing the Metropolitan to stand, the court said, “would have an unfavorable effect upon the value of surrounding property.” Other arguments against the building—that it was too old, too dangerous (because of the threat of fire spreading up through the light court), and too poorly designed for modern use—[lies}could all have been answered a decade later when historic renovation became commonplace. [The Court is controlled by those with the most money and power.]

The day before the wrecking crews arrived, a newspaper reporter interviewed fifty-eight-year old Wally Marotzke, who for twenty years had been the building’s engineer. ” I’m not gonna watch ’em rip it down,” Marotzke told the reporter. “I don’t think I could. But I’ll tell you one thing. The future generations are gonna read about this building and they’ll see some of the buildings they’re putting up here [utter cloned crap] and they’ll DAMN US, they will, for tearing down the Met the[Handicraft Guild].”

-Larry Millett-Lost Twin Cities [words in brackets are not LM’s]


Preservation Warriors pt2






They owned it for years, did nothing to it except inadequately protect it from inevitable arson, and now this ridiculously impossible nonsense that will never happen. Just effing wreck it already like you wrecked everything else here.

Farkitecture Follies pt5

The man who will wreck the Handicraft Guild.


Farkitecture Follies pt4

3 Minneapolis City Council Persons

Farkitecture Follies pt3


JoEllen Haugo…librarian…historian and absolutely right!  DESTROYING WOMENS HISTORY.

There will be more to say on this much more.


Preservation Warriors


And now for a little break in the Fark awards…an infusion of heroism, activism and integrity…standing up and speaking out…confronting the corrupt, speaking truth to evil, resisting the criminal….from the fight to save Brenda Ueland’s House…Anders Christensen

Speaking Truth to Evil