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Saturday May 28th 2022

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ReUse Center Closed after 15 years

ReUse Center Closed after 15 years

by Harvey Winje The Reuse Center in Phillips closed on Dec. 11th, held a one week on-line auction, gave away the remains, and was ended by Dec 31st. The Mpls. Reuse Center, which began as the first retail sales store selling reusable building materials in an urban shopping center in the United States, opened at the Hi-Lake Shopping Center on October 15, 1995. An Elder from Little Earth, Gladys Cain, opened the program with a traditional American Indian smudging and blessing followed with remarks by Senator Paul Wellstone, David Morris, city, county and state political representatives, environmental activists and community residents. This event topped off the culmination of 2 years of writing a business plan, fundraising, and conducting a pilot project in local warehouses in Phillips. The ReUse Center did not originate from an idea of a few nor did it come from an entirely environmental perspective. Instead, it arose out of a controversy between Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis versus the Phillips Community about clearing land of 27 homes and 5 businesses where a state of the art, garbage transfer station was to be built costing 10 million dollars. A diverse community of homeowners and renters, seasoned activists and passionate mothers decried that their children were worth more than what a garbage station represented and that together, they would fight to prevent this from occurring. The garbage transfer station was not built in Phillips. In fact, it was not built anywhere. Instead, the community did the research to discover that they could save Hennepin County these many millions of dollars with a relatively simple remodeling to the downtown incinerator to accept the existing garbage trucks to operate efficiently. This organizing effort became the catalyst for The Green Institute. (more…)

Alley”'s Gallery of Loss-August

Alley”'s Gallery of Loss-August

Sideyard of 2512-14 Chicago Avenue looking East that is now the approximate location of the Skyway Connecting the east building of Children”'s Hospital to the new 800 car Parking ramp on the west side of Chicago Av. Foreground: Wooden apple crate from the National Tea Grocery Store at corner of 25th St. and Chicago Av, Harvey Winje with family dog Tipper and his red J.C. Higgins bike from Sears Roebuck 5 blocks away. Back ground: A Chicago-Fremont route Twin City Rapid Transit streetcar passing by on Chicago Av. Behind the street car: the block of housing demolished in 1968 for the building of the first portion of Children”'s Hospital in 1969 by Bor-Son Construction Company under a new concept called “Turn-Key” Project in which it was all financed, designed, and built by the contractor and then paid for at the end. A new structural concept called post-tension cable construction was used which had been used locally near Loring by Bor-Son Construction for the first time in the Midwest on two, tall apartment buildings. It was a structural concept that strengthened floors subsequent to hardening of concrete and eliminated heavy beams thus minimizing the total exterior height of each floor. It resulted in minimizing the use of many building materials that extended the height of the building; i.e. exterior finishes, interior vertically piping, and interior wiring. Thus, structurally and socially Children”'s was built with post tension that remains today. Photo Credit: Maybe Hilma or Paul Winje (Harvey”'s Parents), Clarence, Hazel or Paul Winje Jr., Dick or June Johnson (Harvey”'s sisters and Brothers), or best friend Bruce Koberstein from 912 East 25th Street. 1948 with “Box” camera

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