U sued after Regents approved grain elevator demolition

Friends of the Electric Steel Elevator, LLC, issued a lawsuit last week, claiming the University broke state law by moving forward with elevator demolition.

The Electric Steel Grain Elevator stands near TCF Bank Stadium on Sept. 20, 2016. The University is looking to build new track and field facilities, which would lead to the demolition of the elevators.

Maddy Fox

The Electric Steel Grain Elevator stands near TCF Bank Stadium on Sept. 20, 2016. The University is looking to build new track and field facilities, which would lead to the demolition of the elevators.

Layna Darling

A group of preservationists issued a lawsuit against the University of Minnesota last Thursday after the University’s Board of Regents voted to demolish the 115-year old grain elevators on campus property.

Friends of the Electric Steel Elevator, LLC, is suing the University under a state law that says the Board of Regents must cooperate with the Minnesota Historical Society and preserve historic sites on campus.

The suit came one week after Regents voted to demolish the Electric Steel Elevator near TCF Bank Stadium.

The 11-1 vote came after many community members voiced their opposition to the elevators’ demolition before the decision.

The group also alleged that the elevator complex is a “natural resource” and cannot be demolished because of the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act.

The Electric Steel Elevators are the last of their kind in Minnesota and have historic significance, the lawsuit said, and embody a historic time when Minneapolis was the milling capital of the world.

The University has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit, according to court documents.