NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday April 25th 2018

Keep citizen journalism alive!

Donatebutton_narrow

Archives

Last building on BLOCK 5: Lost Heritage & Trust

BY HARVEY WINJE

Messiah Lutheran Evangelical Church Pastor, Dr. Rev. Leonard Kendall, (1943-1953) instilled is us students many tenets of Lutheranism and the Bible, but outstanding to me, 65 years later, is that we must always trust that the teacher, the leader, will always “have our back.”

Trust like that in church, government and institutional leaders has lessened and, in the case of Block 5 (e. 25th St. to E. 26th St and Chicago to Columbus), been completely LOST!

A decade ago Children’s eliminated trust in institutions by Phillips Community as they disrespected and DEMOLISHED most of Block 5 and the trust of neighbors who had spent thousands of hours of their time negotiating a Land Use Covenant with local hospitals. It also damaged the trust of other neighbors including a large, local non-profit who sold multiple properties in disregard of neighborhood covenants.

“For this reason, as became brutally clear in 2004, our Twelve Block Agreement had near-fatal weaknesses. But it failed to stop expansion. In 2004, in blatant defiance of the Twelve Block Agreement, a major health care complex tracked its oversized footprints into an entire city block. Children’s Hospital surreptitiously bought out owners of 28 homes, a former church building and a gas station. It rapidly leveled all save two that were moved elsewhere, scarring our neighborhood permanently and inflicting deep trauma and distrust which, to this day, so many of our residents deeply resent. Belatedly, the neighborhood rose in protest, but to no avail. In place of the demolished buildings went a huge new clinic and 700+ car parking garage. Children’s Hospital then added its own heliport. The racket of helicopters ferrying patients in and out at all hours adds mightily to the pollution and cacophony of street traffic, sirens, generators, air-conditioning units, a hospital waste incinerator.” WENDELL PHILLIPS SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE POWER OF THE PAST Chapter 12 THE PHILLIPS COMMUNITY OF MINNEAPOLIS: Historical Memory and the Quest for Social Justice; Louisiana State University Press, 2016 pg 339.

Yes, my family was a member for decades at Messiah when Sunday School was in the Herschel Jones Mansion (2501 Park Avenue—Jones was owner of StarTribune predecessor newspaper): DEMOLISHED in 1952 by Messiah Congregation to build the education building on rear of the lot (currently owned by Messiah and Leased to Augsburg Fairview Academy 2500 Columbus Av.) and have the Park Av. frontage for moving the church building to Park Av. by church member Bill Doepke of Doepke Movers.

Yes, I stayed with Mrs. Gustafson at the house south and next door to Messiah Church as half of my day’s care when pre-school age. House MOVED by Messiah Church to clear land for better accessibility.

Yes, the other half of the day was at Elliot Park Neighborhood House also Demolished for healthcare institution (current site of Phillips Eye Institute on Park Avenue.)

Yes, my first paid job at 11 years old was at Chicago Avenue Eat Shop within building of 2 grocery stores, barber shop, and a pharmacy. BURNED.

Yes, my family’s home from 1941 to 1981 was at 2514 Chicago Avenue DEMOLISHED along with the other 26 houses by Children’s MN.

Yes, over two dozen buildings where I lived, went to school, YMCA, daycare, church, visited friends, or attended social functions within five blocks of Block 5 have been MOVED, BURNED, or DEMOLISHED! Personally this has been an extreme loss of heritage.

Yes, even more importantly, has been the loss of TRUST by Phillips Community of institutional and political leaders.

I have not missed the irony of Messiah’s two valuable properties being separated by Columbus Avenue! My loss of heritage in buildings and the community’s loss of trust are nothing by comparison to the tragic and traumatic Loss of Native Ancestors, Land, and Ancestral Heritage through domination, violence, and by Loss of Trust with Treaty Agreements after Columbus “founded” America!

Dr. Rev. Leonard Kendall spoke of trust synonymous with authority as he learned in the U.S. Marines. Clearly that is dangerous. How do we restore trust between each other and with authorities and institutions?

Share this with your friends:
  • email
  • Print
  • PDF
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks

Leave a Reply