Popular HGTV star fights to save historic Minneapolis home - KMSP-TV

Popular HGTV star fights to save historic Minneapolis home

Posted: Updated:
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

In a few days, the Minneapolis City Council will vote on whether to demolish a house one neighborhood doesn't want to see go -- but it won't go down without a fight that is being spearheaded by a local celebrity.

Millions know Nicole Curtis as the host of the home improvement show "Rehab Addict" on the HGTV and DIY networks, but she's also become an activist in her own Minneapolis neighborhood.

On Tuesday, Curtis celebrated Earth Day by doing what she does best -- trying to save an old home. This time, it was just a little more local.

"The entire structure of the original house is still there," she told Fox 9 News. "Just because it's old doesn't mean it's not valuable anymore."

When it comes to history, the city of Minneapolis can have a short-term memory. That's why Curtis is fighting so hard to keep a house that is more than a century old from being demolished.

"We need another apartment building in the Uptown area like we need a hole in the head," Curtis said. "It's already so busy. I get it if we want pro-density, but then let's build on the empty lots we already have."

The home at the corner of 24th Street and Colfax Avenue South was built in 1893 by one of the city's master builders, TP Healy, who was known as the king of the Queen Anne style of architecture.

"Some of the people who want to tear it down say, 'We have enough Healy homes,'" Curtis said. "That's like saying, 'Oh, the museum has enough Picassos; it's okay if we throw these ones out."

Now, however, a developer wants to buy what is now a 15-unit rooming house and the one next door to make way for a modern, 45-unit apartment building. Owner Mike Crow said a fire in the early 90s gutted the second and third floors of the Healy home, making it look more like a hotel than a historic home.

"There is nothing left," he contends. "All the railings there are all Menards."

Other than the staircase and a window in the main entry, there aren't many of Healy's signature touches to preserve, and Crow said he believes the city stands to gain from saying goodbye.

"It's the best thing for the neighborhood. It's the best thing for the city," he argued. "It would increase the number of people with disposable income; it would increase the city's tax base. If there was something left to save, I probably wouldn't have had a problem trying to sell it."

Yet, Curtis says there is still enough of a foundation to restore the home to its former glory, and she says the neighbors who live nearby should have a say in whether they see a historic house or an apartment complex.

"We're the people that actually have live here and see this every day, and if we want this house still standing, I think that's all that matters," she said.

Last year, the Minneapolis City Council agreed with the Heritage Preservation Commission that the Orth home is a historic resource and stopped demolition on the house; however, Crow appealed to the new council. Last week, the Zoning and Planning Committee approved a demolition permit and the full City Council will vote on the issue on Friday morning.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 35 breathtaking views of Supercell clouds in Minnesota, Wisconsin

    35 breathtaking views of Supercell clouds in Minnesota, Wisconsin

    Sunday, July 27 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-07-27 17:26:52 GMT
    Saturday night, North of the metro, a "Trail of Hail" made its way from Minnesota to Wisconsin. Large hail, some the size of tennis balls were reported in parts ofPolk County, WI. There were only a few storms but those storms were
    Saturday night, North of the metro, a "Trail of Hail" made its way from Minnesota to Wisconsin. Large hail, some the size of tennis balls were reported in parts of Polk County, WI. There were only a few storms but those storms were
  • Husband runs over wife in Minnetonka Beach, Minn.

    Husband runs over wife in Minnetonka Beach, Minn.

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:19:10 GMT
    Police say it probably was an accident, but a Minnesota man is in jail and may be charged with criminal vehicular homicide after he ran over his wife in the lakefront community of Minnetonka Beach.
    Police say it probably was an accident, but a Minnesota man is in jail and may be charged with criminal vehicular homicide after he ran over his wife in the lakefront community of Minnetonka Beach.
  • Judge to Ventura jury: 'If one more shot doesn't do it, we'll send you home'

    Ventura jury given 'one more shot' at unanimous verdict

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:08:14 GMT
    We’ve been talking a lot out the chance of a deadlocked jury in the Jesse Ventura defamation trial. Turns out that is indeed the case.
    We’ve been talking a lot out the chance of a deadlocked jury in the Jesse Ventura defamation trial. Turns out that is indeed the case.
Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices