TV host Nicole Curtis unsuccessfully tries to stop demolition of Mpls home built in 1889 [PHOTOS]

Categories: Minneapolis
parkavehome.jpg
Curtis (top right) said watching the demolition was a "nightmare," but some neighbors used the same word to describe the home's condition.
Yesterday, on orders from the property owner, a demolition crew took out a 124-year-old home at 1925 Park Ave. S. in Minneapolis. But it didn't happen before police were called to deal with Nicole Curtis's last-minute efforts to save it.

SEE ALSO: DRE officer on finding drug-using subjects: We went to "shitty areas" like Franklin Ave. & Park Ave.

Curtis is host of the cable TV show Rehab Addict, which is all about fixing up old dilapidated homes and making them vibrant and habitable again. Before police arrived on the scene yesterday, she attempted a "human chain protest" and went inside the house to stop crews from tearing it down. Curtis stood on the porch while a backhoe ripped apart the living room just feet away from her.

But in the end, her efforts were futile, and the house was demolished.

Later in the day, on Facebook, Curtis posted the picture at the top of this post (sans her headshot) and wrote: "I visited the house today to say goodbye and have been home crying. Underneath that tar paper is the original clapboard in pristine shape-a power wash and 30 gallons of Paint and this beauty would be restored. You cannot tell me to be happy when we are still sacrificing houses."

She also took some shots at the city on Twitter: In comments made to WCCO, Curtis characterized the exterior of the now-razed home as "so magnificent."

"The interior is just as beautiful -- five fireplaces, hardwood floors, pocket doors, and a library that even some homes on Summit Avenue can't even compare to," she added.

Curtis told reporters she even went as far as to offer to purchase the home and move it to another parcel of land, but she ultimately couldn't come to an agreement with the property owner.

Some neighbors, however, disagreed with Curtis's assessment of the home's value.

In comments made to the Star Tribune, one neighbor characterized 1925 Park as a "crack house" and a neighborhood "nightmare" that had fallen into disrepair and was beyond fixing. And ultimately, city officials decided the house didn't have significant enough historical value to justify sparing it from the cycle of redevelopment.

The city's review of the home may have left something to be desired, though. City planner John Smoley told the Strib his department concluded the home wasn't the best surviving example of architect George Hoit's work, but said they based their findings on "photographs supplied by the developer" and didn't actually set foot inside the property themselves.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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38 comments
geeculver
geeculver

Just seen my dream home but , no way do I have the money to move it. I thought maybe you would know someone that may be interested.

North Carolina Farmhouse is being offered for FREE if you can move it, you can have it. Year 1910.   5221 Grimes Farm Road Grimeland, North Carolina 17837       4,339 sq. feet  Contact: Claudia Deviney Regional Director Preservation, N. C. Northeast Office 252- 482 - 7455 cdeviney@presnc.org  Nicole, my name is Gaye Culver and I watch your program faithfully and I seen this house on Facebook. You came to my mind. My email address is geeculver@embarqmail.com. 

twunsch
twunsch

Wow, I don't know how someone could bring themselves to destroy something so amazing. That house is irreplacable.

lillith919
lillith919

@CONSERVATIVE JERK:  restoring old homes IS "sustaining" them.   restoration preserves what's already there and Curtis repurposes and recycles when ever possible rather than having to use new cut lumber, saving trees.  any demo she cannot repurpose is sold to scrap yards, not discarded into a landfill like a demolition job.

mycomputerdr
mycomputerdr

Not knowing the story behind the story I will say that the disappearing older homes I see being torn down makes me sad that this part of our countries historical significance is truly under appreciated.  When I see a pile of old wall slats piled up in a yard from an older house being torn down I cannot stop myself from thinking about what this country was like when those trees were cut to make them and what happy and sad stories those slats could tell. I often will grab some of the older discarded wood and allow them to live on in some small way such as a picture frame or molding or something.  It is truly a loss.

info56
info56

I love your show and try not to miss any of your shows. I became concerned about you when I hadn't seen any shows for a while and then in the next couple shows you looked like you were not well. Then your shows disappeared again and all I could think about was that you were seriously ill. So my question is are you okay? I'm praying for you and your show, I'm so in agreement with saving history!!

bubbles_are_bubbley
bubbles_are_bubbley

I would've cried right there with you seeing that happen. You need to como to Washington because there's TONS of Victorians boarded up and ready to be demoed!

jmrussl
jmrussl

Nicole Curtis work is the inspiration of my own efforts to repair and renovate the home my late husband grew up in, like redoing the stairs and upstairs and basement brightening the walls with paint and as a widow spending a third of my pension every month to fix on the house and hearing now the younger grown boys saying we will not sell Daddy's house when your gone no matter what!

NewsDog
NewsDog

Let's see... Built in 1889.

Probably didn't have indoor plumbing originally, other than the kitchen, so that probably means lead lined pipes when bathrooms were added. And we all know how healthy those are.

Probably didn't have electricity originally so when that was added cloth wrapped insulated wires used and over the years a spider wed of various wiring added and probably still has fuses rather than circuit breakers. 

Bound to be some sort of asbestos in there somewhere.

To do a re-model/re-hab means bringing everything up to modern code and that would probably cost more than the house is presently worth. Good luck getting a bank to give you a loan for that.     

Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith

Guess you haven't heard of property rights. One of the fundamental rights that makes the U.S. what it is.

Allison Gumm Lester
Allison Gumm Lester

Sad to hear that. Wish Nicole had been given the chance to bring it back to the original glory.

Jaynessa Carlson
Jaynessa Carlson

she would have paid for the removal, instead the owner payed to have it torn down?................ the owner is obviously prideful and probably uneducated.

swmnguy
swmnguy

I'd like to know what the property owner/developer has in mind for the property.  I used to live around the corner from that house, years ago; now I live about 25 blocks south and have driven past it many times.  I can imagine the house was in bad shape, and could have been a focus for trouble on the block.  I hate to see it torn down when maybe it didn't need to be.  But that's a tough area for a high-maintenance, single-family antique house.  Moving it might have been an interesting idea, but far from easy.

Who owns it?  What else do they own?  What do they intend to do with the lot?  Those facts would help a lot in coming to an opinion on this story.

mcbecka
mcbecka

Does she live near the property? How do the neighbors feel about it being torn down?  I've seen Nicole's show and while I commend the work she does, it's obvious she lives no where near the homes she rehabs.  I would bet if we were to check police records we would find that it's been a site of copious misbehavior.

Nicole Marie Byrne
Nicole Marie Byrne

Love Nicole Curtis. And rehab projects. Doesn't make sense to me that someone willing, and able to lovingly restore ANY home in Minneapolis, should be denied the opportunity. Will the city put a playground or an urban garden on the razed lot? Unlikely. Lame.

Kristen McCune
Kristen McCune

yeah, I saw it. Big fan of her work, mixed feelings about this story though.

T.S.Moody
T.S.Moody

I don't love that this house was torn down, but you're really going to make a shaming plea to R.T. Rybak?  He has been a terrific mayor, who has overseen a burgeoning Minneapolis, during his tenure.  You should be at home crying for the people who live in poverty, or the people dying in pointless wars around the globe, but not this house getting torn down.  Let's get real, people.  Not everything is an outrage.

Dustin Washam
Dustin Washam

if anyone could have saved it, it would have been Nicole!

steveu
steveu

I used to live across the street on the opposite corner (2000 Park). I would say this it was more methy than cracky.

Jerry Hart
Jerry Hart

Saw this on the news yeaterday...what a shame...lost history...and one of the few people with the talent to restore it is denied...please don't turn MPLS into another L.A. - it's one of the reason I left - lost history creates an unstable future.

MarkM15
MarkM15

Truly a lovely crackhouse.

twke01
twke01

Absolutely terrible. Nicole has a fantastic track record for preserving homes. She treats these homes like they're a member of her family. It's shocking that the City didn't even bother to go inside the home to make a detailed assessment of the property. We have so many vacant parcels in the city that just sit there with no development activity. It's time to make some changes and start valuing preservation over demolition.

Debd
Debd

@NewsDog Nicole Curtis is an expert rehab person....have your EVER seen her work???  she does everything by the book...if it needs new wiring, she installs it, if it needs new plumbing, she installs it....you must be one of thise people who sell their property so that developers can build 4 family homes where 1 family homes stood...it's a crying shame that some people do not love and appreciate older things.  You would probably throw your old parents into the street if it meant getting more $$$ wouldn't you??  It's Nicoles' decision to make these homes beautiful and habitable again...

jmrussl
jmrussl

@Anthony Smith  It would have been better if the owner had tried to work with Nicole Curtis or could have sold the house to her, she would have made it pretty again!

jmrussl
jmrussl

@Allison Gumm Lester  She could have worked miracles!

Debd
Debd

@Jaynessa Carlson and a jerk!!!!

jmrussl
jmrussl

@swmnguy  I think ownership is a matter of public record, start with the city then go to the county!the tax office should know for sure1

That_Old_House
That_Old_House

@mcbecka She was offering to buy it and remodel it or move it/relocate it, which would have resolved any blight issues the house posed. You people really should read BEFORE commenting.

Curtis wasn't saying the house, as is, didn't pose a problem. That's WHY she does what she does. She helps to fix these old houses, even move the if its the only solution, but fixing them in place helps rejuvenate blighted neighborhoods (which is a big reason why she what she does). A vacant lot doesn't solve much. A remodeled nice home would add value to the neighborhood.

jmrussl
jmrussl

@mcbecka  It may have but after she restored it then it would be a source of pride for that neighborhood1 t could have been later re purposed as a home for battered women

Debd
Debd

@Nicole Marie Byrne The article said it was privately owned...can't imagine why the owner wouldn't sell it to her so she could revive the neighborhood if that is what was needed.  A house which was lived in is better than an emply one or an empty lot...how do the other homeowners in that neighborhood feel about that??  Someone said on an earlier post that Nicole doesn't live in that neighborhood...so what..she is a heroine for wanting to bring it back to it's original glory!!!  she does amazing work and it's a shame the neighbors didn't step in to help her get the house.

jmrussl
jmrussl

@Nicole Marie Byrne  I don't think the city owned it


jmrussl
jmrussl

@jctungol  i think most who live in poverty choose that way of life by failing to develop a good work ethic in themselves

jmrussl
jmrussl

@Dustin Washam  exactly

jmrussl
jmrussl

@Andrew Hine  No they do not at least where I live ; however crack cocaine is sold in run down houses in big urban communities, Nicole would have made it not be a run down house likely to have crack sold in it

T.S.Moody
T.S.Moody

@jmrussl @jctungol I think you vastly underestimate the power of strong role models, which are extremely hard to find in places where poverty is normal; whereas I grew up in a household with two positive role models showing me the way.  If all one sees while growing up is failure, how can a young person be expected to develop a good work ethic?  While it is largely on the shoulders of a local community to provide guidance, we must not forget that our society puts people in difficult situations, and isolates these communities, so we must provide assistance that will allow such communities to provide the necessary guidance.  Do you blame a young boy who grows up in foster care, seeing only dysfunction, for not finding a direction in life, or not developing the skills necessary to succeed in our society?  We must view our society as one body, whose weakest parts must be supported by its strongest, so that the entire body is not lost.  If we decide that it is in our best interest to allow the less fortunate, or less able to flounder, eventually our entire society will be brought to its knees.

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