NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Sunday November 18th 2018

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Historic Messiah Church demolished!

HARVEY WINJE
By early afternoon August 21, 2018 only the Messiah Church Balcony, main entrance with Bell Tower, and office portion of this 101 year old Community and Architectural Historic building remains adjacent to the Clinics and 700 car parking ramp already built on Block 5 Chicago/Columbus E. 25th and 26th Streets where Children’s Hospital previously demolished the entire block contrary to legal and ethical binding Covenant with the Phillips Community and neighbors.

Children’s Hospital completes demolition of Block 5 and community’s TRUST

BY HARVEY WINJE

Children’s Minnesota spent over 1 million dollars to buy and demolish (during the last two weeks of August 2018) the last structure on Block 5 between Chicago and Columbus Avenues and East 25th Street and East 26th Streets.

Children’s Minnesota at its Minneapolis location violated the Covenant they and other hospitals have had with the Phillips Community for decades when they purchased and now totally demolished two churches, one gasoline/repair station and 28 homes. This loss of housing is a travesty when so many are unstably housed and the city explains that we must quickly add more availability of housing stock before 2040! It is also a travesty to lose the history and beauty of historic landmark religious sanctuaries that harbor memories of thousands of residents. It was purposeful that the thousands of hours of conversations and negotiations between residents and hospital executives marked Block 5 of the 12 Block Covenant to remain residential along with the two churches that stood there.

Children’s Hospital did not perform this destruction on their own; two other institutions, Messiah Church Congregation and Project for Pride in Living were complicit in this surreptitious devastation of Block 5, its ensuing insult to residents, and of the trouncing of the trust built between residents and institutions by their selling a total of six parcels of land and buildings to the hospital instead of honoring the Covenant. Their financial interests and greed “trumped” legal and ethical responsibility to the broader Community.

The City of Minneapolis Historic Preservation Commission unanimously recommended limited Historic Status for the Messiah Sanctuary, one of three remaining churches in their original condition designed by Harry Wild Jones (including the chapel at Lakewood Cemetery). A Mpls. City Council Committee voted unanimously to not honor the structure and this historical status and the full City Council voted 12 to 1 to not grant the Preservation Status apparently without reading or at least not comprehending the merits as presented in an exceptional report. The analysis provided to them included the attached recommendations of many noted historic experts of buildings, architecture, and community significance.

“Greed in our society certainly isn’t unusual but flagrant greed must be underscored lest it becomes acceptable.”

“We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”Stephen Hawking Jan. 8, 1942 – March 14, 2018

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