Working for a Minneapolis where each of us has the freedom and opportunity to reach our individual potentials while caring for one another, improving our environment and promoting social well-being.
Focused not only on our immediate needs, but also on the future we want for ourselves, our children and for generations to come.
Dedicated to using the values of Social and Economic Justice, Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, Peace, Community Based Economics, and Respect for Diversity to guide his work.
For the latest news from Cam Gordon, see the Second Ward e-Update.
The Second Ward occupies the Eastern-Central part of Minneapolis and straddles the East and West banks of the iconic Mississippi River gorge. It includes a diverse mix of residential, institutional, industrial and commercial land uses with some of the highest density housing outside of downtown, flourishing low density residential neighborhoods, thriving and underutilized industrial areas and major commercial corridors like University Ave and East Lake Street. It is also home to several significant institutions including the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. For more information about the people and places of Ward 2, see our Ward 2 Planning Department Profile and our Regulatory Services 2016 Report.
Glendale Townhomes Historic Designation
I have formally nominated the Glendale Townhomes for local historic designation. You can find the completed nomination here.
I did this with support and encouragement from both the local neighborhood group (the Prospect Park Association), and the Defend Glendale group. Additionally, it was supported by many of the residents of the townhomes following a well-attended meeting where the historic nomination was discussed at Luxton Park and a letter and survey that was mailed to each of the 184 residences. Of the 60 surveys completed and turned in, 58 of the respondents indicated that they supported local historic nomination, 1 was opposed and 1 was unsure. I also heard from many other supportive residents of the neighborhood and received letters from the Pratt Parent-Teacher Association and St. Frances Cabrini Parish Council supporting the nomination of Glendale Townhomes for historic designation.
Built in 1952, during the tenure of Mayor Hubert Humphrey, the townhomes are the oldest property the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) owns. It is the only medium density and family oriented public housing project of its kind in the city. I am convinced that it is worthy of a nomination study because it potentially meets criteria 1, 3 and 5 for local designation as outlined in our Historic Preservation Regulations: 1) The property is associated with significant events or with periods that exemplify broad patterns of cultural, political, economic or social history; 3) The property contains or is associated with distinctive elements of city or neighborhood identity; and 5) The property exemplifies a landscape design or development pattern distinguished by innovation, rarity, uniqueness or quality of design or detail.
Last week I learned that City planning staff have nearly completed their review of the nomination application and have determined that they will NOT be recommending it for approval in their report to the Heritage Preservation Commission. They are opposed to doing the study and imposing interim protections. In a meeting with Community Planning and Economic Development and Public Housing Authority staff it was clear that concerns about delaying future development on the site and possibly losing the opportunity to increase the density in the future outweighed concerns about losing a potentially historic resource. While the completed staff report will not be ready for some time, based on the conversation I expect it to focus on, first, how a study would be inconsistent with the comprehensive plan and, second, how the nomination and study is being opposed by the current property owner (MPHA) and therefore should not be done. I believe that the property owner’s consent is not required in order to put in place interim protections and complete the study. And, while some provisions in the comprehensive plan may be inconsistent with the study, many other provisions are very consistent with it.
The most recent plans that I am aware by MPHA includes the demolition of all the existing homes and buildings and replacing the 184 units with 350 newly constructed units.
Given the strong potential that this area qualifies to become designated an historic district, it seems shortsighted, unwise and unreasonable not to allow the nomination and study to go forward.
Ultimately, the determination will be made the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. They are scheduled to take up the nomination on April 9th. If they accept it, it will initiate a formal study that could take up to 18 months to complete. The Heritage Preservation Commission Committee Clerk is Rachel Blanford – 612.673.3153, [email protected]. The Commissioners are Ginny Lackovic (Chair), Diana Dyste, Laurel Fritz, Barbara Howard, Jesse Kling, Linda Mack, Kimberly Sandbulte, Ian Stade, Madelyn Sundberg and Claire VanderEyk.
If this is something that is of interest or concern to you, I would like to hear from you. If you care about the future of Glendale, I would encourage you to submit written comments to the Heritage Preservation Commission and attend the meeting on Tuesday April 9th at 4:30pm in Room 317 of Minneapolis City Hall.
Ward 2 Neighborhoods
Last updated Mar 14, 2019