Post and photo by Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director
The Hawthorne Neighborhood Council is now the proud owner of 2944 Emerson Ave N, closing on our long-standing office space in July. With an exciting new beginning also came a bittersweet end; the transaction marked the final works of the Bethel Lutheran Church Dissolution Committee.
Originally, the house was a structure associated with the church building to the north of the site. It was used as the church parsonage from its construction until 1958. For the next thirty years, Bethel Lutheran Church held Sunday school in the building and used it as their church office space. Shortly afterward, the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council (then called the Hawthorne Area Community Council) began renting office space from Bethel. As attendance and membership at Bethel Lutheran Church declined, the church was sold to New Bethel Baptist and the lots were divided to create two separate properties.
Prior to closing on the house, HNC first went to the city of Minneapolis for a zoning variance, which was approved. The city's findings and recommendations can be found here.
Hawthorne is grateful for the hard work of our board members, staff, and other colleagues who helped guide us through the zoning and acquisition processes, including the advice from Project for Pride in Living regarding energy-efficient and environmentally friendly ways we can begin to rehab our new home. We are now owners of our own office space at a fraction of our previous rental costs.
In the coming months, HNC will begin the work of improving the property through a new roof and refurbished windows, as well as landscaping and other changes. Hawthorne and NoMi neighbors are encouraged to stop by and see our "new" home!