Neighborhood News

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June 28, 2004 // UPDATED 2:18 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Historic Loring Park mansion is for sale

A Loring Park mansion that neighborhood leaders fought to save a decade ago is on the market.

Barry Berg, a real estate broker with Minneapolis-based Coldwell Banker Burnet, said the listing price for the 419 Oak Grove St. mansion is $899,000.

"We're getting a lot of inquiries," Berg said. "It's a lovely property in good condition."

Several people have checked out the mansion as a private residence. A few have considered it for a commercial use, but the lack of parking on Oak Grove makes that option more difficult, he said.

Jacquelyn Hanson-Reid, a board member of the Citizens for a Loring Park Community (CLPC) who passed away October 2003, restored the mansion, known as the Lyon House, and filled it with an eclectic mix of antique furniture. She helped save the mansion from demolition with other neighborhood leaders a decade ago.

Representatives of the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, 519 Oak Grove St., sought to tear down the Lyon House in 1993 to make way for a church parking lot. CLPC fought the request, and a real estate developer, Glenn Thorpe, bought the property with $130,000 in Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) funding.

The four-story mansion was built in 1892. It features several unique architectural details, including a rooftop terrace and an elevator.

Loring Park area is site of two stabbings

Two people were stabbed in the Loring Park neighborhood in separate, unrelated incidents June 22 and June 24, according to police reports.

In both cases, victims sustained relatively minor, non-life-threatening injuries, said 1st Precinct Insp. Robert Allen.

In the June 22 incident, a 35-year-old North Minneapolis woman was stabbed multiple times in Loring Park around 11:45 p.m. The police report indicates three people witnessed the stabbing near 1382 Willow St.

Allen said police have not made an arrest. "The victim is uncooperative and giving inconsistent stories," he said.

The stabbing was reported to police shortly after midnight.

In the second incident, a 31-year-old man was stabbed June 24, shortly after 3 a.m., at 1518 Spruce Place.

Police arrested a 23-year-old man living at the same address in connection with the stabbing.

A Hennepin County Medical Center paramedic who responded to the domestic assault told a police officer that the victim said the man stabbed him, according to a police report.

The victim had a stab wound between the eyes and a few wounds on his upper right arm.

New Washington Avenue streetscape a possibility

Downtown's stretch of Washington Avenue may be in line for a makeover.

While neighborhood activists, property owners and city officials have recently focused on beautifying Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet Mall, Washington Avenue remains a rather bleak avenue.

With several new housing developments going up in the surrounding Mill District, Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) members have approached city planners and developers about sprucing up the street, says DMNA Chair Tom Hoch.

"This might be a good opportunity to coordinate streetscape improvements to create a more attractive, physically and visually integrated, pedestrian-friendly area. We're probably talking about standardized lighting and some trees," he said.

Hoch said he doesn't know how much the project would cost but suspects it would be less than the $300,000 set aside for Hennepin Avenue improvements.

The project's scope and boundaries have not yet been decided, he added.

"The sidewalks are not as large as Hennepin Avenue, so there's less we can do. Of course, we'd likely need to enlist an architect to help us figure out what's realistic, given the particular limitations of this area," Hoch said.

Hennepin Avenue property owners paid for streetscape improvements through assessments. A Washington Avenue funding plan has not been determined, Hoch said.

Besides improving the street's look, DMNA also hopes to address a parking crunch. A few years ago, there were acres of surface parking lots between Washington and the mills. Many of the lots disappeared to make way for new housing developments.

Hoch, head of the Historic Theatre Group that manages the State, Orpheum and Pantages theaters, started planning Hennepin Avenue's improvements in 1998. Although he said executing the plan took longer than expected, new trees, paving, ornamental lighting and benches now adorn the Theater District.

"Having completed this, I realize more than ever that there is simply no excuse for the awful appearance of many of Minneapolis' streets," Hoch said. "In an urban environment, beauty needs to be planned and cultivated. It doesn't just happen."

City attorney hosts Downtown crime-fighting seminars

Beginning Thursday, July 1, Assistant City Attorney Lois Conroy will hold "livability" crime seminars for Downtown businesspeople.

The first seminar's topic is "What Is Trespassing and How Can Laws Against It Be Enforced?" The seminar will be held noon-1:30 p.m. in the 1st Precinct Community Room, 19 N. 4th St.

Conroy, a community attorney who works on crime prevention in Downtown neighborhoods, will present legal information on ways to enforce "livability" laws such as the city's new antibegging ordinance that is designed to crack down on "aggressive" solicitors who intimidate and harass passersby.

The seminars will be held the first Thursday of each month in the Police Department's community room.

For more information or to register for a seminar, contact Conroy at lois.conroy@ci.minneapolis.mn.us.