Consolation Prize

May 21, 2009. The annual Minneapolis Preservation Awards were given. Among the awardees were a select group of some of the advocates for the Pauline Fjelde house. They were nominated by someone who was a social historian who had answered the question…”Who is Pauline Fjelde?”
Her answer inspired the efforts to learn more about Pauline and her family and to nominate Fjelde’s house and place of business for historic designation.

The award was intended to acknowledge the efforts of the group of advocates and their success in starting the process of historic landmark designation.

The core group of young advocates were aware that they were being given an award. Other advocates did not know until weeks afterward when they received a letter
thanking them for their participation in “Preservation Central”.

The award must have felt like a positive achievement. The award must have given the recipients the idea that the vast myriad bureaucracy of the City was working with them toward the ultimate “gold” of saving the house and thwarting the owners who wanted to demolish it and use the land for a parking lot.

Or so was the pleasant illusion. All that glittered was not gold…not in the heart…not in the head…. the “gold” was gilded lead.



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