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?


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.

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