Razing puts end to fight over histori...

Razing puts end to fight over historic 'junk house' in Lake Elmo

There are 130 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Jul 26, 2010, titled Razing puts end to fight over historic 'junk house' in Lake Elmo. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Linda Hardy had high hopes for renovating this house on her Lake Elmo property, but it was razed Saturday after a five-year battle with neighbors and city officials who considered it an eyesore.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

GreatDay

Princeton, NC

#22 Jul 27, 2010
Okay, the city spent thirty grand to demolish this dump, then figures it can't recover the money. My suggestion would be to spend another couple grand and pay for this lady to get professional help from a shrink. She ain't right in the head and really needs some help. Then write the whole deal off as a community service event!

“TOMCORUST”

Since: Jun 10

Lake Elmo Mn

#23 Jul 27, 2010
The Structure is gone, the Human Behavior is still there, lets see how the City of Lake Elmo will deal with that??? With the Hypocritical and Unethical way the City and Staff operate, look out Ms. Hardy and the rest of the Citizenry, this is just a start, the City of Lake Elmo has had its first real "Taste of Blood", and its going to like it!!!
Rob

Minneapolis, MN

#24 Jul 27, 2010
"Across the street from an upscale development"... doesn't that say a lot right there? People want to move into "the country", but they don't want any bumps in the road in their world of chemical lawns and cookie cutter McMansions to disturb their fantasy of rural life, which they've destroyed by buying into poorly designed and constructed developments, many of which are future slums. Meanwhile we destroy historic structures in favor of these vinyl sided tan town monstrosities.
L in Lakeville

Bloomington, IL

#25 Jul 27, 2010
Doesn't the city have rules about moving and putting up a house on a vacant lot? Here in Lakeville, we have to have a permit to put up a tree? I think people who have grand ideas, should show they have the means to pay for it. It's time to come back to reality. Maybe she should have put that money into her present home and possibly some retirement fund, so she isn't living off of disability. The whole thing is sad, and shouldn't have gone on as long as it did, and shouldn't be ANY of our business...yet I'm dragged along to the site of the train wreck :)
Dan Wesson Guy

Philadelphia, PA

#26 Jul 27, 2010
She had a contractor who was all ready to put a nice porch on the house. Unfortunately, she had no money to pay said contractor. The city did what it had to do.

If I were a child of this woman, I would suggest to her she no longer talk to the media. She's not a well person. Lots of plans (dreams)...and no action or ability to realize them. I hope she gets some mental help.
L in Lakeville

Bloomington, IL

#27 Jul 27, 2010
I live in the burbs Rob, and I'd object wholly to this eyesore! Did you look at the picture of the house and yard before your rant...Come back to the light Rob...we are waiting for you, and we have cookies!:) It doesn't happen just in the burbs. My parents live about 4 blocks from one of the first "St Paul Garbage House" projects.

Since: Jul 10

Delano, MN

#28 Jul 27, 2010
E_Fudd wrote:
<quoted text>
Sounds like you have many happy memories of the house and homestead -BUT- the building itself was nothing to marvel at on its own. I'm guessing that the Historical Society has certain criteria before they consider restorations and the only thing this structure had going for it was its age. Other than that, it wasn't a rare architectural gem. Just a dime-a-dozen farmhouse that wasn't maintained. Memories or not, they did what they had to since it was obvious the owners were never going to finish the project.
What a dumb as___!!! statement to make. You sound about as nostalgic and contemplative as a piece of dead wood.
Itser

Montgomery, AL

#30 Jul 27, 2010
L in Lakeville wrote:
Doesn't the city have rules about moving and putting up a house on a vacant lot? Here in Lakeville, we have to have a permit to put up a tree? I think people who have grand ideas, should show they have the means to pay for it. It's time to come back to reality. Maybe she should have put that money into her present home and possibly some retirement fund, so she isn't living off of disability. The whole thing is sad, and shouldn't have gone on as long as it did, and shouldn't be ANY of our business...yet I'm dragged along to the site of the train wreck :)
They did have all the permits, and, at least on paper, the means to finance it. Then her husband went through a prolonged illness prior to his death which apparently drained their funds. They dug a basement and set a foundation before moving the house to the new site. It has sat like that for quite awhile with no steps leading to the basement, just a big hole in the floor, and until fairly recently, the doors weren't even secure. Between that and all the junk cars and appliances in the yard, it is a miracle that none of the neighbor kids have been injured or even killed there. If that had happened, I suspect people would be screaming about how the death trap should have been torn down.
Oh...and it isn't just the "yuppies" who have been complaining about the place. Long-time residents were also not happy with it.
Spats

Hudson, WI

#31 Jul 27, 2010
Ima Outraged wrote:
It's Obama's fault. And the DFL. Hip Hop isn't helping eithter. Or those video games. We need to take our civilization back. Let's start by tearing down houses. We can do it. We're Amercians. Support our troops.
It's Bush's fault. And Republicans. Country music isn't helping either. Or those guns. We need to take our civilization back. Let's start by building low cost housing. We can do it. We're Americans. Support Al Gore.
L in Lakeville

Bloomington, IL

#32 Jul 27, 2010
Itser, thanks for the info ;) My grandmother lived in Frogtown until 1990, when the city came through and told her if she didn't have enough money to get the house up to code (27,000 to be exact was the cheapest estimate she got) that it would be condemned. Well even with family help she could not on her retirement and my grandfather's pension. She vacated and moved to an elderly residence. Even though she loved that house, she gave it up within 6 months of the order from St Paul. It had a lot more charm and character than the one pictured. So while it may be nice to hang onto something for it's history. Sometimes it's better overall to let it go and perserve your memories. They tore it down and built a two story that housed a very grateful and large family that used to live next door to her. I guess none of you that believe this was a travesty sent her money when she first came to the media a few months back? Lake Elmo gave her far more time that the City of St Paul ever would! ;)
Itser

Montgomery, AL

#33 Jul 27, 2010
L in Lakeville wrote:
Itser, thanks for the info ;) My grandmother lived in Frogtown until 1990, when the city came through and told her if she didn't have enough money to get the house up to code (27,000 to be exact was the cheapest estimate she got) that it would be condemned. Well even with family help she could not on her retirement and my grandfather's pension. She vacated and moved to an elderly residence. Even though she loved that house, she gave it up within 6 months of the order from St Paul. It had a lot more charm and character than the one pictured. So while it may be nice to hang onto something for it's history. Sometimes it's better overall to let it go and perserve your memories. They tore it down and built a two story that housed a very grateful and large family that used to live next door to her. I guess none of you that believe this was a travesty sent her money when she first came to the media a few months back? Lake Elmo gave her far more time that the City of St Paul ever would! ;)
You're welcome!
Obviously it's sad, but in the end, this may be the best thing for her. I don't know the woman personally, but it sounds to me like she is somewhat trapped in her grief - unable to complete the project she and her husband started, but also unable to let go of it. Now the city has finally taken it out of her hands, so she can hopefully move on with her life without feeling guilty for doing so. I know there were some efforts to help her, but she wouldn't let anyone do anything, even clean up the garbage in the yard. As far as the people complaining about the city being mean, I wonder how many of them would feel the same if it were across the street from their house.
And good for your grandma! Life has lots of different stages, and it isn't good to get stuck in one stage forever. Hopefully she made lots of friends at the new residence and enjoyed that stage of life as well!
Rob

Minneapolis, MN

#34 Jul 27, 2010
L in Lakeville wrote:
I live in the burbs Rob, and I'd object wholly to this eyesore! Did you look at the picture of the house and yard before your rant...Come back to the light Rob...we are waiting for you, and we have cookies!:) It doesn't happen just in the burbs. My parents live about 4 blocks from one of the first "St Paul Garbage House" projects.
I'm kind of hungry, so bring on the cookies! Or I'll rant some more! The woman lost her husband. There is no hint of a compassionate response I've read here concerning that. And taking that into consideration some kind of accommodation could have been made for this historic structure. I live in a small Eastern Metro town that has all but destroyed its large historic and civic structures in favor of sterile architectural pablum. And the plans are currently being made for more of same. "Eyesore" is a matter of opinion. And I think it's relevant that this was across the street from some exclusive future slum. Why do we cater to developers and their clientele who trade in fantasies while destroying our landscape and way of life?
so sorry

Lakeville, MN

#35 Jul 27, 2010
multiple extensions, 5 years, missed deadlines...she had her chance and now it's gone. If anyone complains then they should have offered to buy it when this story first appeared a month or more ago.
Tomcorust

Saint Paul, MN

#36 Jul 27, 2010
Itser in Peru, In., Nothing has changed, other then the House was stuffed into the basement!!! Ms. Hardy lives next door, about a hundred feet away, all her stuff is still there, along with a semi trailer(new addition to the site), this is Ms. Hardys life style!!! If you want to know the truth, the whole neighborhood(Friedrichsville is what we always called it and I'm a thirty four year resident)is kind of the same, its getting better, and hers is the worst, but its still there!!! The Farms of Lake Elmo and the City of Lake Elmo won't be happy till the whole neighborhood is bulldozed, this just sets precedent!!! So much for "Private Property" rights, its who you know, not what you know, here in Lake Elmo!!!
Kringle71

Hastings, MN

#37 Jul 27, 2010
L in Lakeville wrote:
Doesn't the city have rules about moving and putting up a house on a vacant lot? Here in Lakeville, we have to have a permit to put up a tree?)
No, you do not need a permit to plant a tree in Lakeville. There are some limitations as to where it can be located (not within an easement on the property due to drainage and/or utilities) but you do not need a permit to plant a tree. And before anyone asks, I don't work for the City of Lakeville - but I do live in Lakeville and happen to know what the rules are for those particular actions.

I can appreciate Mrs. Hardy's desire to rehab the house, but unfortunately life happened and the rehab was not going to happen. The city was right to demolish the house and the costs of doing so should be added to the property taxes for the empty lot if Mrs. Hardy cannot afford to pay in full. She can then either pay over time or let the property go tax forfeit so that someone else can purchase the property and cover those costs.
P T Bull

Minneapolis, MN

#38 Jul 27, 2010
It was a simple fix wrote:
My math must be bad, they spent 200k on it and wanted to spend another 330k to bring it up to code. Heck, you could have torn it down and put it back up for 1 tenth of that price. Something is missing.

That something is sound judgement. If somthing is historic just because its old, we should replace landfills with giant museums...

Looks like they consumed their life savings on this fiasco, as well as some city money as well.
Furry1

Minneapolis, MN

#39 Jul 27, 2010
Sounds like the couple got into the mess with the best of intentions, but couldn't even begin to see the project through. I wonder if they tried to raise outside money at all, or tried to do everything on their own. Sounds like the latter to me, which is too bad, because trying and failing to raise outside money would have at least indicated something, mainly that the house had less value then they thought it did.

However, despite the reports of junk cars and such, I can't help but feel more sympathy for her then the residents of "Farms of Lake Elmo" Nothing good comes from those cookie cutter developments.
Duh

Saint Paul, MN

#40 Jul 27, 2010
L in Lakeville wrote:
Itser, thanks for the info ;) My grandmother lived in Frogtown until 1990, when the city came through and told her if she didn't have enough money to get the house up to code (27,000 to be exact was the cheapest estimate she got) that it would be condemned. Well even with family help she could not on her retirement and my grandfather's pension. She vacated and moved to an elderly residence. Even though she loved that house, she gave it up within 6 months of the order from St Paul. It had a lot more charm and character than the one pictured. So while it may be nice to hang onto something for it's history. Sometimes it's better overall to let it go and perserve your memories. They tore it down and built a two story that housed a very grateful and large family that used to live next door to her. I guess none of you that believe this was a travesty sent her money when she first came to the media a few months back? Lake Elmo gave her far more time that the City of St Paul ever would! ;)
I don't know what your smoking, but having lived in St. Paul for 50 years, I can assure you that dilapidated buildings have sat for over 20 years. For example, the Mounds Park Theater sat vacant, spray painted and unoccupied for decades....

Since: Jan 09

United States of America

#41 Jul 27, 2010
citylights wrote:
<quoted text>What a dumb as___!!! statement to make. You sound about as nostalgic and contemplative as a piece of dead wood.
When did they let you out? I thought they could hold you for 96 hours.
Tomcorust

Saint Paul, MN

#42 Jul 27, 2010
Kringle71 wrote:
<quoted text>
No, you do not need a permit to plant a tree in Lakeville. There are some limitations as to where it can be located (not within an easement on the property due to drainage and/or utilities) but you do not need a permit to plant a tree. And before anyone asks, I don't work for the City of Lakeville - but I do live in Lakeville and happen to know what the rules are for those particular actions.
I can appreciate Mrs. Hardy's desire to rehab the house, but unfortunately life happened and the rehab was not going to happen. The city was right to demolish the house and the costs of doing so should be added to the property taxes for the empty lot if Mrs. Hardy cannot afford to pay in full. She can then either pay over time or let the property go tax forfeit so that someone else can purchase the property and cover those costs.
The City certainly had the Legal right to tear Ms. Hardys house down, but not the moral right!!! Most of the developments around Lake Elmo are Bankrupt, this is an old "Farming Community", a lot of properties in Lake Elmo have clutter(I don't live in one, so don't go there), the City I believe has a strategy to sweep through areas surrounding these development so they look more attractive, when in fact, I think they are just over priced!!! The City itself is Bankrupt, it spent Two Million Dollars on the New Old Village Concept and has a sewer project stuck on I-94 a Hundred Thousand in the red, the Powers to Be in Lake Elmo have given Lake Elmo away!!! High Density is here to Stay!!!

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