I drafted this post back in May, and it's taken me nearly this long to finally publish it...
Apparently HGTV has a show called "Rehab Addict" hosted by a woman named Nicole Curtis. I don't have tv, but when I did I really enjoyed HGTV. My friend Megan told me to look up Nicole, "you two would have so much in common, go like her facebook page." So I did.
Then I opened up my computer one May morning and saw a post on Nicole's page talking about the city of Minneapolis tearing down a house that she had tried to buy. A house that was built in the late 1880s and was in overall great condition with some unique historical features.
I was in between shoots so I went over.
Sometimes things just catch you, but I was not emotionally prepared to watch something like that.
You know, I love history. I love Minnesota. I love Minneapolis. I have a thing for old houses. I am crazy about giving old things new life and flea markets and saving stuff off the side of the road.
Nicole is like that, too. She takes old houses and gives them a new chance. She is incredible and does wonderful work. She cares about communities and kids and our midwestern, urban history. I went up to her and we chatted a bit. She is very genuine:
Nicole tried to get the crew to stop tearing down the house. I watched as they went on with it: bulldozing the front porch, the living room, tearing off the front of the house. Destroying something beautiful for no good reason.
Something caught my eye: a gorgeous set of pocket doors.
Nicole told me that no one was allowed inside to salvage even the materials. Like the doors. Doors and wood and fixtures I see in countless antique stores, in DIY pinterest projects and cheaply reproduced then sold for outrageous amounts.
The house was in such good shape that the tear down was actually quite challenging.
I just kept watching those old doors: beautiful, ornately carved wood- part of Minneapolis and American history, turned into garbage.
It really got me all shook up. I am usually not into "stuff" and try not to be too attached to "things," but this felt so wasteful, unnecessary, and sad. I said good bye to Nicole, we hugged and I went on my way.
I just wish there was something I could do. If I had the skills, knowledge and finances I'd fix up older homes, too.
For weeks this whole thing stuck with me. I felt and still do feel so helpless as far as what I can do to help save local history. It put me in a funk and I still have a hard time thinking about the experience.
Sometimes things just catch you.