Council committee votes to save Mpls historic home from demolition

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A Victorian home in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood that had been slated for demolition was saved from the wrecking ball by the Minneapolis Zoning and Planning Committee Tuesday.

KARE 11 reports the 1893 home at 24th and Colfax Ave. has suffered several fires and the owner, Michael Crow, has been trying to sell the house for five years.

"The fire and water damage destroyed all of the eight-panel doors, the baseboards, casings, second-floor fire place, buckled the hardwood floors and destroyed all of the fixtures in the upstairs bathrooms,” Crow told MinnPost.

City planner John Smoley agrees that much of the home's history has been diminished. MinnPost reports the building was divided into 15 units, a once-open front porch has been enclosed, wood-frame windows have been replaced with aluminum and vinyl, a large addition was added to the back of the house and a carriage house built by Healy was removed.

“Healy was a master builder, but the residence at 2320 Colfax has been altered extensively over time,” Smoley said. “There are better remaining examples of Theron Potter Healy’s work.”

Crow wanted to accept an offer from a developer to demolish the home and make way for a new apartment building.

Home historian Anders Christensen rallied to save the house designed by Theron Potter Healy and sought an appeal from the Heritage Preservation Commission, which was granted.

Healy built 140 homes in Minneapolis between 1886 and his death in 1906, MinnPost reports. Only two were built in 1893.

Neighbors on both sides of the debate gave testimony at a Zoning and Planning committee hearing Tuesday morning, including Nicole Curtis of the DIY Network's "Rehab Addict" who supports the preservation of the house, according to KARE.

The committee voted unanimously to save the home. The vote will be finalized at a Friday council meeting.

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