Corrections are Required

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After the September fire at the Pauline Fjelde house, the Fjelde advocates met in October with Councilwoman Elizabeth Glidden and Jack Byers who was the manager of CPED’s Preservation and Design group of planners who worked with the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. Noticably absent from the meeting were members of the Regulatory Services and Fire Departments who would ultimately decide the fate of the house.

There were questions about the cause of the fire and who had started it. The questions would never be answered. Although the damage was extensive, the Fjelde advocates were still able to request political support for orders to be issued for the roof to be repaired.

A notice was sent of a new Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission hearing on December 29, 2009 to extend the meaningless “interim protection” for the Pauline Fjelde house for another six months supposedly to complete the stalled historic landmark designation study.

Some of the Fjelde advocates thought the repair orders and HPC hearing positive for the survival of the house. The cautious optimism was tempered by an awareness that the mysterious arson indicated that the Schoffmans and their attorney were succeeding with their plan to destroy the house.

Their public defiance and contempt of the City’s orders, their repeated unboarding of the house and leaving the doors open, their refusal to pay fines communicated the idea that they were fighting the City but behind the scenes they were working in cooperation with certain City employees who the Fjelde advocates had been deceived into believing supported their efforts to save the house.

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