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Old 05-21-2019, 04:06 PM
 
Location: St. Paul, MN
182 posts, read 112,421 times
Reputation: 288

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Yesterday, my aunt, city councilmember Jane Prince, told me about an issue surrounding a church located in St. Paul. This was the first I had heard of this issue but long story short, a German immersion school would like to tear a church down and build a new structure in order to increase their gym and classroom space. As an art historian, my initial instincts said "Noooooo!' and then I did some research.

I am horrified.

Look at the church. Then look at the proposal. Please note the areas in the plan where they have allowed for a "public art piece." Let me get this straight. The plan is to tear down a church, an already-existing work of art created by a community of people over a number of years (the ultimate public art piece) to create a modular, uninspiring "box" of a space to be dotted with a few pieces of public art that would "decorate" 5% of the facade?

Churches hold history and beauty. As art historians, we study them to learn more about the way people hundreds and thousands of years ago thought about space, spirituality, and ultimately, life. We take our own sorts of pilgrimages to these same churches today. These structures inspire us by showing us what the human mind and body were (and still are) capable of achieving. Churches are works of art we can walk through and touch. We can feel the power in them even if we're not "religious." Just recently, we were reminded how devastating it can be when these structures are taken away. Just last month, Notre Dame experienced that horrible fire. That fire was an accident. Can you imagine taking down a church (albeit far less well-known than ND) on purpose?

The thing that makes me the most upset. According to the Twin Cities German Immersion School's website, the school's mission and strategic focus areas stress the importance of the institution's desire to "foster an environment in which students, families, and staff are connected with and care for one another, the school and our global world, and we manage our resources with care." It also mentions the importance of honoring "problem-solving." This plan lacks care, proper resource management, and problem-solving. When parents send their children to educational institutions of this nature, they do so in order to enrich their children's lives by immersing them in an environment designed to PRESERVE and promote a language. What are we teaching those same children when we willingly tear down another powerful form of communication?

Save Historic St. Andrew's is a group looking to raise some money to preserve the church. The church was designed by Charles Hausler, the first person to hold the office of city architect in the city of St. Paul. He designed public buildings (including the pavilion in our own Mounds Park!), 6 of which are listed on the National Register. As you can see, this organization is working with architects and designers to think about how the space can be re-imagined. (How cool!)

If you remember correctly thousands of dollars were raised to save the Grand Old Day parade... so let's donate a bit to help keep a piece of history (that can't get rained out) alive.

Alex Prince

The Campaign:
https://www.gofundme.com/savehistoricstandrews

The proposal by the school:
https://www.tcgisbuildingproject.org/

More about the architect:
Hausler, Charles A. (1889
Attached Thumbnails
An open letter from Art Historian Alex Prince,  niece of Councilmember Jane Prince.-sa.jpg   An open letter from Art Historian Alex Prince,  niece of Councilmember Jane Prince.-tcgis.jpg  
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:20 PM
 
Location: South Minneapolis
4,761 posts, read 5,432,542 times
Reputation: 6996
The building has not been shown to be architecturally or historically significant, was abandoned by the neighborhood as a church, and was converted to a substandard gymnasium by the school after they bought it from the archdiocese. The property can attain a higher use if you would get out of the school’s way. It’s time to tear it down.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:38 AM
 
871 posts, read 822,338 times
Reputation: 1868
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffTheGreat View Post
Yesterday, my aunt, city councilmember Jane Prince, told me about an issue surrounding a church located in St. Paul. This was the first I had heard of this issue but long story short, a German immersion school would like to tear a church down and build a new structure in order to increase their gym and classroom space. As an art historian, my initial instincts said "Noooooo!' and then I did some research.

It's weird that this is the first he's heard about this when you posted on this exact same issue on 12/3/2018.


ONLINE PETITION - Save St. Andrew's
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:34 AM
 
Location: South Minneapolis
4,761 posts, read 5,432,542 times
Reputation: 6996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedosius View Post
It's weird that this is the first he's heard about this when you posted on this exact same issue on 12/3/2018.


ONLINE PETITION - Save St. Andrew's
I thought the same thing and then figured from the title of the thread he’s posting a letter from someone named Alex Prince. It’s not clear whether or not these are the OP’s own words.

Last edited by Glenfield; 05-22-2019 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:01 AM
 
871 posts, read 822,338 times
Reputation: 1868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenfield View Post
I thought the same thing and then figured from the title of the thread heís posting a letter from someone named Alex Prince. If thatís the case I tís not clear that these are not the OPís own words.
Your are correct - it wasn't clear to me, either.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:07 AM
 
Location: South Minneapolis
4,761 posts, read 5,432,542 times
Reputation: 6996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedosius View Post
Your are correct - it wasn't clear to me, either.
Heís been on this topic for a long time. Save Historic St. Andrew's Church
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