Just a few blocks to the north of me, there sits a boarded and vacant home that has gone into tax forfeiture and is owned by Hennepin County. At first glance, it looks like a pretty obvious candidate for demolition. The siding that doesn't have lead paint on it is peeling away, the remaining siding will need to be stripped or removed entirely, there may not be much left on the inside, and it sits on a very non-conforming lot.
|The subject property is one parcel to the east of the highlighted property, which we'll get to in a moment.|
2215 29th Avenue North is one of two properties on the block that face 29th.
Clearly these two houses were designed to complement each other. Granted, the beige property has been bastardized with a stairway up to a "second" unit even though it's on a postage stamp-sized lot and the house obviously does not fit as a two-unit property. Who DOES this? Who shoehorns in units where they have no godly reason to exist and the property already functions just fine as a one-unit structure? It's almost as if the house is owned by someone as bad as Stephen Meldahl--oh.
On a North Talk Facebook thread earlier this week, one forum member wrote about how a potential demolition on her block would ruin what little character and overall architectural integrity was left on that stretch. The same is true here. If the boarded and vacant house is demolished - and it's owned by Hennepin County, so a sale to the City of Minneapolis for that purpose is a strong possibility - then there will be an unusable vacant lot just sitting on the alley.
After a while, the Meldahl house will fall into (more) disrepair and (more) tax delinquency until it too is acquired by the County. If the white house is torn down by the time that happens, there will be no "sister" property to compare it to. The vacant lot will become the norm that defines this little section of 29th Avenue North. And the only thing that anyone will be able to do, since the vacant lot will likely be considered unbuildable, is tear down a second house so that the more conventional lots can be squared away with full alley access.
I've said before that demolitions remove the character of a block until there is nothing left to do but tear down more houses. Usually I'm referring to a block that already has some tear downs, and my rant is met with glassy stares. Here is an example of that phenomenon before it happens.