NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Saturday June 24th 2017

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EPIC Report-April 2017

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April 2017 Ventura Village

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Harry Wild Jones, Architect Messiah Lutheran Church: Deserving Historic Designation

BY BOB ROSCOE

In 1916 the cornerstone was laid for the Messiah Lutheran Church at the intersection of East 25th Street and Columbus Avenue South in South Minneapolis, designed by Harry Wild Jones, a leading Minneapolis architect.

Today, the two story red brick Gothic Revival structure, rests comfortably within this mildly compact urban environment, and still serving its original religious purpose, no longer for a Lutheran congregation which began as serving a Northern European immigrant community, but now for Mennonite and Latino immigrant congregations.

Messiah Lutheran’s interior presents Jones’s lavish use of wood, with pointed arches emblematic of the English Gothic Style, carved wood paneling, and an intricate stained glass window above and behind the altar lend the interior a graceful ambience. Perhaps the most splendid interior architectural feature is the system of wood hammer beam trusses, each characterized by series of sizeable vertical members with lathe-turned bases.

Harry Wild Jones became known as a church architect during his prolific career, totally 21 churches in Minneapolis. Nonetheless, Jones is better known in the architectural community as one of the most imaginative early twentieth century designers of public buildings, such as what is known today as Butler Square, the long ago razed Nicollet Baseball Park, Lake Minnehaha Yacht Clubhouse, Washburn Water Tower and many prominent residences. Seven of his buildings are locally listed historic landmarks.

At this time, three of his churches remain in their original design; eight have been significantly altered beyond their Jones architectural identity; and the others have been demolished. Messiah Lutheran Church is thus an important edifice in the historic testament of Minneapolis.

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A Church Building as Art Preserving Immigrant History

Messiah Church’s compelling interior Architectural Art by Architect Harry Wild Jones
Nancy Powell

BY LINDSEY FENNER

One block from the elaborate American Swedish Institute mansion is a more modest landmark of the Swedish immigrants who made their homes in the Phillips neighborhood. The Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2501 Columbus Avenue South, was once a social center for the Swedish-Minnesotan community. But over the course of a hundred years, the block has dramatically changed. A building that used to be nestled among single-family and duplex homes is now shadowed by a parking ramp.

In an effort to recognize and honor the church’s social importance, as well as the craft used in the design and construction, the church building is currently being considered for local preservation status. Sue Hunter Weir, a Phillips historian who serves on the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, nominated the building for consideration.

Built in 1916, the building was designed by important local architect Harry Wild Jones. His more well-known works include the Lakewood Cemetery Chapel and Butler Square in the Minneapolis Warehouse District. But Jones also took pride in designing affordable, well-crafted churches, according to Hunter Weir. Messiah is one of the few intact examples of Jones’ churches.

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Isaiah 43:18-19a Mission drives: hard decision to sell Church, forgetting former things to do something new

BY LOUISE BRITT

On March 1st, Messiah Lutheran Church voted to put their historic church up for sale.

This has not been an easy decision but the reality is as a church community we could no longer afford to maintain the Historic church building. It is in need of several repairs and as a Church Community we discerned that our trying to maintain an aging building was not the best use of our resources.

Messiah is not the thriving Swedish Immigrant Church of the past. We are a diverse, vibrant, worshiping community of the present. Our ancestors discerned that their call was to share the Gospel, Love and Mission of Jesus Christ through service to our neighbors. This is still our mission and focus today as Messiah Lutheran Church. We strive to fulfill that mission by building beloved community in Christ, one person at a time.

Selling the church will enable us to continue our mission.

We are open to anyone who would like to buy the property.

I am very saddened by the outcry of members of the community who have not contributed to help maintain the building, who did not show up to listening sessions that were published on our webpage and in various printed materials, yet feel they have a voice in what may happen to the property.

Moving forward I hope we can come together and celebrate the Sacred Words of Isaiah 43:18-19a “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am about to do something new.”

Louise Britts is Pastor of

Messiah Lutheran Church

612-871-8831

PrBritts@messiahmpls.org

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On Sanctuary doors Luther nailed 95 Theses Messiah Congregation “nailed” For Sale sign*

Messiah Church 2501 E. 25th Street. Tops of 700 Car Parking Ramp/Clinics building and 2 Heliports in background
Ben Heath

BY HARVEY WINJE

Five hundred years ago, on October 31, 1517, the priest and scholar, Martin Luther nailed a piece of paper with 95 opinions to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. It would begin the Protestant Reformation.

One hundred years ago, on June 24, 1917, 9-Year Old Messiah Lutheran Congregation dedicated their new Church building at 2501 East 25th Street, Mpls.

Almost 100 years later, on February 26, 2017, 108-year old Messiah Lutheran Congregation voted to “enter into negotiations to sell that historic church building” by a 31“Yes” to 2 “No” vote giving notice also (on their website) that “we will be updating everyone as the Church Council discerns how to move forward.”

The future of this historic building of worship remains uncertain. It is not clear if or how the building is being marketed. Apparently, a previous offer from Children’s MN Hospital was contingent on it being demolished by the Congregation to avert the severe criticism of Children’s MN for their demolition of almost the entire block ten years ago.

The Messiah Congregation moved to 2400 Park Avenue in 2008 and rents the 100 year-old building to Emmanuel Mennonite Church and Centro Nueva Vida Iglesia Apostolica.

Nine months ago, on June 21, 2016, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission unanimously approved Commissioner Sue Hunter Weir’s nomination of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church located at 2501 Columbus Avenue South, as a Landmark, established interim protection, and directed the Planning Director to have a designation study prepared.

A Designation Study outlines the potential significance of a property, both individually and within the context of Minneapolis planning and heritage preservation goals. Studies are based on a review of resources including historic building permits, unpublished histories and documents, newspaper articles, and archival materials from the Minneapolis Collection of the Hennepin County Library and Minnesota Historical Society.

The Heritage Preservation Commission may vote on the church’s status as a landmark before June 21, 2017, but has the option of requesting an extension of up to six months to complete the review. Ultimately the decision will be up to the City Council.

*“For Sale Sign” is a metaphor as used here because the Congregation’s decision on the building’s future is “to enter into negotiations.”

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Somalia’s Drought

BY ARDO MOHAMED

  • Over 6 million people are facing starvation and are dying from hunger and thirst.
  • We’re asking our neighbors to contribute to our cause.
  • Over two days we have raised $11,500.00 by doing a bake sale and asking people to donate at our Islamic Center, Abubakar As-Sadique, 2824 13th Ave. So.
  • We’re doing a car wash and pampering for the women on Sunday .
  • Your gift today will provide clean, safe water to a thirsty family.
  • You will give a desperate family urgently needed assistance to survive this drought – water, food, help and hope.
  • Wherever it’s needed most, your gift will save lives.
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Help build the puppets for the 43rd MayDay Parade!

During the month of April, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre is transformed into a giant studio where staff artists and volunteers create the MayDay Parade.

From Saturday, April 8 – Thursday, May 4, 2017, MayDay Build Workshops are held at1500 E Lake St, Mpls, MN 55407:

Every Tuesday from 7-9pm

Every Thursday from 7-9pm

Every Saturday from 9-11am and 1-3pm

Workshops are free and open to the public. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Workshops are funded by free will donations.

Bring recycled items to the build if you can! We especially love paper bags and newspaper donations.

How it Works

An artist will introduce you to the parade theme by showing you the giant storyboard (a visual script).

You select a section of the parade to work on, find the artist in charge of that section, and set to work!

Artists will guide you.

You can either make your own creation which you can keep after the parade, or help with the larger parade floats.

Typically, you’ll need 3 or 4 sessions to complete a project, but you can come to as many or as few as your schedule allows.

Other Details

Workshops are free, although donations are graciously accepted, always welcome, and much needed.

Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

Wear “painting” clothes.

No reservations required. Just Come!

All welcome!

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500 MayDay Plates Washed by “Heart of the Beast”

BY LUCINDA ANDERSON

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s MayDay Green Team and YOU can divert 80% of the 2017 MayDay Festival waste from landfills, and this year’s 500 Plate Experiment will help make it happen. Inspired by the Winnipeg Folk Festival where food vendors serve 100,000 festival goers on washable plates, a sub-committee of the HOBT’s MayDay Green Team is collaborating with Kabomelette food truck owners, Greg and Chelsea Miller, and Restaurant Supplier Joe Palen to serve 500 MayDay customers on washable plates.

Washing dishes consumes much less energy and produces less waste than recycling or even composting. The big vision is to someday have all MayDay vendors serving on washable/reusable plates. This year we need at least 500 people to buy their delicious food from Kabomelette and the same 500 people to return their plates to the collection bins adjacent to the MayDay Green Team waste stations. Easy, peasy, right?

Last year 2400 pounds of compost and recycling was collected at MayDay. Diverting 2400 pounds from a landfill or incinerator was a huge success, and this year the MayDay Green Team is hoping to break that record! Help the MayDay Green Team reach their 80% goal by volunteering to host one of the eleven waste stations around the park on MayDay, Sunday, May 7, 2017. You can help boost MayDay’s composting and recycling efforts by assisting folks with sorting their items at a waste station while affirming the impact of their actions.

This is an ideal volunteer opportunity for groups and individuals interested in sustainability and the environment. To sign up, visit https://hobt.org/mayday/ volunteer-for-mayday/

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi

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Get Out


Universal Pictures

Horror/Suspense/Mystery/Comedy

*****

If you think “Get Out” is like Stanley Kramer’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967)–it is to an extent–but “Get Out” goes much further, much deeper in its approach to a very unsettling, suspenseful,malevolence; yet it’s peppered with humor.

The director Jordan Peele, African American, of “Get Out” draws his inspiration from George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (1968). Romero’s movie is one of the great horror classics and Peele’s debut film comprises horror, suspense and humor and mystery is to be from a social perspective. Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), who is white, wants Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), wants him to meet her parents.Chris is nervous about the idea–with good reason. It appears Rose’s parents are accepting of their daughter’s African American boyfriend. Her father Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford) is a neurosurgeon and her mother Missy Armitage (Catherine Kenner) is hypnotherapist, both devoted “liberals.”

As the story unfolds, Rose’s parents, the white guests and the African American help become more weird, more sinister, causing Chris to become leerier than at the time he arrived. Something isn’t right at the country estate making “Get Out” to be, quite honesty, a brilliant piece of work especially in the horror/suspense/mystery genres. It has its comedy side, resting on African American humor and tone, in several scenes when his buddy Rod Williams Lil Rel Howery) back at Chris’ apartment watching his dog warns him to bail out from Rose’ parents’ house after Chris tells him strange things are happening there.

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