Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Preserve This!




Another preservation goal — I suppose that's appropriate, since May is Preservation Month!

This building, and another one like it, sit over in Highland Park; this one is on the corner of Hamline and Montreal, right by a frisbee golf course that has sprung up and across from a city-owned golf course and from Circus Juventas. I believe it's designed by Cap Wigington, if I remember correctly. What you can't see from the picture is that it is two-story, built into a hillside, and with a lovely patio spreading out beneath it.

It's city-owned, and it's been boarded up as long as I can remember. To their credit, they have not demolished it, simply moth-balled it.  The rationale I keep on hearing about it is "we can't do anything with it because it's historic," which makes no sense, because it's the history that makes it so beautiful. I have heard recently that they are looking for a public-private partnership to develop it, which is a good sign, but I am not sure if such a partnership could employ federal and state historic tax credits.

I have no experience in the business world, and not enough capital to make it happen, but doesn't this just call out to become an independent coffeehouse/cafe, with a big patio and maybe some meeting rooms? The location is perfect for casual traffic, and also for the golfers and frisbee golfers to stop by after a round, and for the several hundred circus parents who are there daily to grab a cup while their kid is across the street (not to mention pre-show dining).

A girl can dream, right? Anyone want to take my idea and go in on it with me?

1 comment:

Jim Keane said...

Makes me think of 1966 or so when my Dads office was what is now the Brueggers bagel place near Lake Calhoun. What is now a thriving boat house and cafe was a derelict drug dealer building. And look at it now. Preserve; you've a great idea Bethany.