My first Granite Falls City Council meeting, one of many, I can tell…

Granite Falls City Council Meeting on 2/6/2012
So this is the room where all the decisions are made, including decisions to demolish buildings

Feelings I felt before the council meeting: very nervous (I wrote out everything I planned on saying and tried to remember it all, but of course I didn’t get to say everything I had wanted to say), anxious, worried, and hopeful (maybe I would miraculously turn into the greatest speaker and somehow influence the council?!) .

Check out the audio that I had recorded during my moment of speaking to the city council on my Tumblr blog. Part of the reason I recorded myself was to remember what was said since I tend to forget a lot of what is said when I speak to an audience due to my nervousness.

Feelings I felt after the meeting: relieved (I managed to speak), angry (by the council’s disregard of my concerns and of their eagerness to just get it over with), excited (felt a sense of empowerment), and confused (um, so why can’t the city give the house some time?!).

As a historic preservationist, I can no longer learn about the demolition of a historic structure and not speak out against it. I know that it may not be possible to win all battles, but I sure as hell will try. So the city wants to demolish this house without offering it to the public because of timing. It is the “last” house to deal with before completing the flood mitigation that Granite Falls has been going through for years now. I understand their rushed decision to just get rid of it instead of waiting for someone to come along. However, there is a non-profit organization, Granite Falls Riverfront Revitalization, in Granite Falls that has already saved a prominent downtown structure, the K.K. Berge building (I will be creating a post about the evolution of that project). The city needs to understand and see that there are people in the community willing to help them with these type of decisions.

My goal: For the City of Granite Falls to view its historic infrastructure as an asset to the community, and not as a liability.

1175 Prentice Street
Historic House, brown stucco, on 1175 Prentice Street to be demolished. It is located in a historic neighborhood along the Minnesota River, next to downtown Granite Falls, MN.
1175 Prentice Street
Historic House on 1175 Prentice Street to be demolished. Would you say this house is historic? One of the city council members said it was not.
Historic House on 1175 Prentice Street to be demolished
This house was in foreclosure before the city acquired the property.
Historic House on 1175 Prentice Street to be demolished
I think it is beautiful, so much potential.
Historic House on 1175 Prentice Street to be demolished
I wish there was someone out there who would be willing to move this house, such a waste to be torn down.

6 thoughts on “My first Granite Falls City Council meeting, one of many, I can tell…

  1. Do you know anything about the history of the house? How old is it? Was there an architect? Who lived there? A City office should have those records…Got a historical society in Granite Falls or a County historical society? Rally the troops!!!

    Do you know you can also hire an attorney and file an injunction to STOP THE DEMOLITION!!!

    The City might move in quickly to do the dirty deed here. Keep us informed…

    Bravo Sarina…YOU GO GIRL!!!

    1. Thank you Madeline for the encouragement! I really appreciate it. The local newspaper covered the city council meeting here: http://bit.ly/zDfOX9 .

      Unfortunately, I do not know the history of this house, but I do plan to ask permission to go inside and take photos of the interior as well as the exterior of the building before it is demolished. I will do more research into it then. I just sort of stumbled upon all of this very quickly. I just moved to the area about a month ago so I am trying to catch up!

      There is another historic house, a white Victorian, that the city has already decided to demolish but for different reasons than the brown stucco house. It is a house that has a little more community support in trying to save (although no one spoke up when the city decided to contract out the demolition). So a plan to save this other house has been started, and I will write up a blog post very soon about that situation.

      Again, thank you for your suggestions!

  2. So, the house is beautiful. And I think I heard you say in your recording that if it’s older than 60 years, it’s historic (not sure they did because someone was talking over you.). Why are they so rushed to demolish it? What is the timing concern specifically? Are they afraid that the river will flood it and they’ll face higher insurance costs this spring? Is that why it has to be moved? Or, how is it costing them money otherwise? How much will they pay to have it demolished?

    I am learning about historic preservation through you. Look forward to seeing the photos. Great work.

    Anne

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