College will demo, rehab ex-Billy Graham sites

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July 12, 2004 // UPDATED 2:29 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) plans to raze some structures on a former Billy Graham Evangelical Association block in preparation for a campus expansion to accommodate Metropolitan State University.

MCTC, 1501 Hennepin Ave. S., plans to demolish two maintenance garages on the former Billy Graham block, bordered by Hennepin Avenue to the west, South 12th Street to the north, Harmon Place to the east and Spruce Place to the south.

For now, the community college won't build new buildings on the site but will expand parking and add landscaping.

MCTC is preparing to accommodate Metropolitan State University, which leases space at City Place, 730 Hennepin Ave. S. until January 2005 -- when Metro State plans to move to the MCTC campus.

The community college also plans to restore the former Standard Oil building at 1300 Harmon Place to accommodate associate, undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, said Dan Kirk, facilities manager for MCTC and Metro State.

The Billy Graham association used the building as a printing and storage area. The school plans to "strip" the building to its frame, rebuild it and add a new faade that blends in with other block properties, Kirk said.

The building will be ready for classes by

January 2005.

"Our intent is to respect and enhance the vision of the historic district and nearby buildings and provide facilities that will be very functional and benefit the local as well as the greater community," he said.

A portion of the block, bordered by Hennepin Avenue and Spruce Place and 12th and 13th streets, falls under the Harmon Historic District. The designation means MCTC is required to get city Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) approval.

MCTC's applications to proceed with demolition are listed on the Commission's agenda for Tuesday, July 13. The HPC hearing will be held 5 p.m. in room 317 of City Hall, 350 S. 5th St.