Letter of the Day (March 29): Housing teardowns

  • Updated: March 28, 2013 - 7:07 PM

Downtown Lanesboro is a quiet place on a weekday, but becomes a very busy place on weekends.

Photo: Steve Rice, Star Tribune

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It’s a misconception that only “successful cities are in a constant state of renewal,” as purported by the Star Tribune Editorial Board regarding teardown housing in Edina. Savannah, Ga.; Charleston, S.C., Northfield and Lanesboro, Minn., and thousands of historic preservation districts throughout the United States are examples of successful cities and communities that have retained their historic fabric.

In fact, studies have found that properties within local historic districts appreciate at rates greater than the local market overall, as well as faster than those in similar, nondesignated neighborhoods.

Cities and neighborhoods should build on their strengths. If a neighborhood’s appeal is the charming streets lined with well-designed houses with garages in the rear of the property, then the community is doing a disservice allowing out-of-scale new housing with large garages prominently located in front of the houses — detracting from the strength of the neighborhood.

Pat Smith, Minneapolis

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