Justus Ramsey House in pieces following disassembly

by Casey Ek

After months of controversy, the 170-year-old stone Justus Ramsey House that once sat on the patio of Burger Moe’s is no longer—at least for now.   After laser scanning the limestone house, crews in February disassembled the structure, labeling its pieces for future reassembly at a to-be-determined site. 
The St. Paul City Council acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority on Jan. 25. authorized $84,000 for deconstructing and storing the structure after Ward 2 Councilwoman Rebecca Noecker sponsored a last-minute resolution in the face of the structure’s at-the-time imminent demolition. 
The resolution initially called for $115,000 to remove and store the structure after Don Kohler and Rita Dalbec stepped forward was would-be caretakers for the house. In addition to providing the lot, the pair offered around $300,000 of their own money to restore the interior of the structure. 
Noecker called the potential partnership between the city and the pair a “win-win,” but Council President Amy Brendmoen and Council Members Nelsie Yang and Chris Tolbert were not convinced when it became clear that the pair would be living in the home. The body then lowered the total to the $84,000 figure before again changing the approved total $34,000 following updated cost estimates in February. 
Now that the structure has been dismantled several groups and individuals have expressed interest in playing host to the structure. The Fort Road Federation alongside Historic St. Paul will reportedly be opening up an application process for interested hosts for the structure. Kohler and Dalbec have been invited to apply.
The future of the house will be a key topic at the upcoming Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association slated for March 7.
The structure will be kept at a storage yard where it will await its future home. 
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