CPED’s backward efforts

Robert Roscoe

Lolla Mohammed NurâÄôs Dec. 7 article on Prospect ParkâÄôs prospects for historic designation zeroes in on the main issue of interim protection while historic district nomination waits for city action. Prospect Park features eclectic architecture with imaginative interpretations of historical styles. Remodeling for homeownersâÄô new needs can be created by likewise imaginative interpretation of the individual character that attracted them to purchase their houses in the first place. The secretary of the interiorâÄôs guidelines, the federal governmentâÄôs ultimate standard for preservation, make this possible. Nonetheless, the Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic DevelopmentâÄôs (CPEDâÄôs) record of applying interim protection has thus far stultified those efforts, even in cases where emergency repair of like-for-like replacement has required extensive and lengthy review. Historic preservation should be an incentive for homeowners, not a penalty. Looking back to my 21 years on the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission (1980 – 2001), many in leadership positions during the commissionâÄôs formative years, CPEDâÄôs current actions make me feel like a parent whose offspring proves to be an embarrassment. Robert Roscoe University alumnus