Farkitecture Follies pt6

In 2012, the Community Planning and Economic Development Dept. of the City of Minneapolis announced a new federally funded program “Green Homes North” to build “NEW” homes on the VACANT lots where several years before…also as part of a federally funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program they had dispatched the Backhoes of Death on a demolition frenzy as part of the City-County DEMOLITION collaborative.

So the City destroyed so many houses that the North side has huge gaps between the few survivors…. realizing the devastating effects of this failed policy, they decided to make it “right” by building new homes on the VACANT lots using “quality green design standards; green, energy efficiency, and sustainability standards; job creation and workforce development; sourcing of local green products; and marketing to meet homebuyer expectations. The program includes a five year plan to build 100 new homes.”

The non-profit groups that had been using Neighborhood Stabilization Funds to purchase some of the vacant foreclosures had SO MANY of these homes they couldn’t rehab em all. They were not in to building big new plastic houses from scratch so WHY not open the field to the suburban homebuilders eager to turn the Northside of Minneapolis into their next obscenely profitable field o McMansion dreams?

These builders were not in to rehab or reuse…they were into buying in bulk new new new materials and building structures from a couple of standard plans using a factory process, fast, cheap, wasting more energy than they saved by using vinyl windows, doors, foam insulation and HVAC that might last a year or two…

When the list of “available” VACANT lots was released, some Northside residents and neighborhood activists went to visit the sites and discovered that many of the VACANT lots had HOUSES ON THEM…and some of the houses were in good
condition or could be rehabbed and reused.

They knew that most of these homes had been built by skilled craftsmen using old growth materials. They knew that these homes could be saved. They knew that since the ReUse Center had closed that nothing would be saved when the homes were demolished, no woodwork…some of it hand carved, no millwork, no flooring, no fireplace mantles, no tiles, no cast iron radiators, no pocket parlor doors.

They knew that the greenest house is not a new house…
the GREENEST house is “the one already built!”







Award # 6 The Greenest House is the one they DEMOLISH and DUMP in a landfill

Dishonorable mentions in this category are the Demolition Diva who in a fit of entitlement and rage arranged for the destruction of at least three neighboring houses with owners and tenants she HATED.

AND the “vermin vestors” who pay a pittance to an elderly owner or acquire a foreclosure from a slumlord, then evict the tenants then either rip everything of value out and sell it on Craigslist or realize they’re too incompetent, lazy, and indifferent to do anything but let their gold mine molder away via demolition by neglect…whilst refusing to sell to the people who could save these homes, instead they try to sell the land to developers.

AND “Market-Driven Demolitions” in Minneapolis and Edina’s “nice” neighborhoods of homes that are “too old” or “two small” and are replaced by enormous energy hog self contained castle McMansions.


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