St. Paul artist building house ... to burn it down


In a St. Paul warehouse, artist Chris Larson has been constructing a 2,000-square-foot replica of a famed architect's early 1960s St. Paul home. The replica, which is being moved to a festival site, is almost exactly the same size as the original, "down to the inch," Larson tells the Pioneer Press.

Why go to all the trouble? To burn it down.

The 46-year-old St. Paul artist and his team are moving the house piece by piece on a flatbed truck to outside the Union Depot downtown for this weekend's Northern Spark all-night art festival. At 2 a.m. Sunday, it will be set ablaze.

It's art, Larson says – a gesture that celebrates new possibilities.

"It's not so much a sinister act; it's a gesture or an action to suggest something," Larson told the Pioneer Press ... "And to burn the house down, you have a foundation left over -- the scarred earth. It's just a suggestion for something to happen after."

The house is a replica of one designed by modernist architect Marcel Breuer, which sits on a bluff above the Mississippi River Valley in St. Paul's Highwood Hills neighborhood, the Pioneer Press notes. (The house's current owner is intrigued by the project and has been in touch with Larson, the Pioneer Press notes.)

Visitors can tour the home Saturday night at the festival before it is burned.

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