On Death Row

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Four houses in trendy Yuptown. A few survivors of the neighborhood’s residential past.
Houses near a lake (Calhoun) in a commercial district are an endangered and vanishing species.

The neighborhood evolved into a playground for young adults years ago. Some single family homes remain in uneasy coexistence with partytown. Each year as homeowners leave, their homes are acquired by the landlords of mega rental conglomerates.

These four houses were once family homes. Although the two grey houses on Lagoon look like they’ve been rental properties for awhile, the houses on Irving do not. The green house has a simple and sturdy utility, the yellow arts and crafts house could have had fine woodwork and stained glass. Its field stone chimney reveals this house was special. The developer tried to make everyone feel better by stripping everything out and “salvaging” it. Where did the salvage go? How much architectural salvage actually gets reused?
Items custom designed for a specific house may not easily fit into another.

The developers have their headquarters in the neighborhood and actively advance their plan to conquer, clearcut and build their replica aluminum clad structures that begin to disintegrate as soon as they are built. The supersized energy hog structures fill every inch of land above and below.

The neighborhood association, filled with pro-development new urbanists and a few others who know resistance is futile, let themselves be deceived into believing that the developer will make the changes they suggest, but the changes were put into their minds by the developer. The neighborhood association voted to approve the apartments.

The City Planning Commission listened to the sales pitch for the apartments by a CPED staff person who is a lobbyist for developers. CPED staff withhold information, manipulate the truth, treat their Commissions and Committees like idiots who will robotically approve everything they are told to without a thought about
what they have already approved or pausing to think, “How much is Too much?”

The City Planning Commission approved the apartments on consent.

No one wrote to defend the houses. No one testified to oppose their destruction. The planners spend months meeting privately with developers who flatter and manipulate them promising extravagant tax revenues, employment and who knows what else. The public gets two minutes at a public hearing after the decision to approve the development has already been made.

The public has been excluded from the process. Our testimony is not listened to. We are treated as if we do not exist. Our City officials only serve developers and developer profit, not the public.

At each hearing we listen to the same oppressive deceptions repeated over and over again, as if to brainwash us, as if the lies are repeated often enough we will believe them.

The development always conforms to “The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth” or conforms to the Uptown Small Area Plan…yet the sections in each plan that support historic preservation or preserving neighborhood character are dismissed and ignored.

Farkitecture Follies Award #4 Developers acquire, destroy and clearcut our neighborhoods as they vanish into Uptown, in partnership with City staff who are their bought and paid for lobbyists.


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