Minneapolis allows developers to demolish historic former home of renowned city writer

Brenda Ueland lived in the home for 31 years prior to her death.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

A Linden Hills house that was once the home of renowned Minneapolis journalist and author Brenda Ueland will be demolished.

By a vote of 6-5, Minneapolis City Council on Friday granted an appeal by developers John Gross and Andrew Commers to overturn a decision taken by the city's Heritage Preservation Commission in February that blocked the demolition and called for a historic preservation study.

The developers want to tear down the two-story farmhouse at 2620 W. 44th St., not far from Lake Harriet, and build a multi-family building of up to 10 units, according to council documents.

They argue that it has no economically feasible future as a single family home. They have already spent $840,000 to buy the property and due to its poor condition, say it'd cost a further $500,000 to renovate and re-sell the home.

Preservation groups had argued for the house to get historic protection due to its link to Brenda Ueland, the Minneapolitan who became the first female reporter on the Minneapolis Tribune and became a successful author, peaking with her 1938 book If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit.

She moved into the home in 1954 and stayed there until her death in 1985. A lot of her writing during this period would be about the house and Lake Harriet.

But despite the city considering it a "historic resource" as Ueland's former home, the Star Tribune reports ward council member Linea Palmisano said it's undergone many changes since her death (during which time it has had five different owners) and it no longer bears much resemblance to the home she lived in.

You can check out some pictures of the house on this Zillow listing dating back to before it last changed hands.

The developers have suggested they could help celebrate Ueland's legacy in a different way, offering to contribute between $10,000 and $30,000 towards a commemoration possibly in the Linden Hills Library or a local park.

A legal memo submitted by law firm Jane Prince, Weinblatt & Gaylord was among the submissions to the council opposing demolition, saying the developers had paid too much for the property.

They argued the developers could wait until a study is carried out to see if the property deserves National Historic Designation.

But some local residents wrote in favor of demolition, with David Elsner, who lives on nearby York Ave. S, writing: "It sounds like it has sadly not been maintained well enough over the years to make it financially feasible to keep it as it is. I would be fine with a new construction project under these circumstances as long as it holds up to the architectural standards of the neighborhood."

Next Up

vote, vote now

MN Supreme Court dismisses attempt to block election certification

Another legal defeat for Republicans challenging the election.

prison, Rush City cell block

Another Minnesota prison inmate dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The virus has killed at least six Minnesota inmates.

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.

sleeping

Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.

Related

Minneapolis allows developers to demolish historic former home of renowned city writer

Brenda Ueland lived in the home for 31 years prior to her death.

Developer buying Danny Heinrich's home says it'll be demolished by Christmas

Danny Heinrich's house is being sold to a developer, but he has no intention of doing anything but destroy it.

Nicole Curtis gets 6 months to fix up her run-down Minneapolis home

The HGTV star reached a settlement with the City of Minneapolis.

The historic Terrace Theater will be demolished this time

Demolition of Robbinsdale's historic theater starts up again Saturday.

Minneapolis is a top 5 city for millennials

It's even ahead of trendy spots like Seattle, Austin and Boston.

Minneapolis is a top 5 city for millennials

It's even ahead of trendy spots like Seattle, Austin and Boston.