Neighbors rush to save Justus Ramsey house from unexpected wrecking ball

by Casey Ek
Neighborhood preservationists were left scrambling to save the Justus Ramsey House, an 1850s-era historic stone building on the patio of Burger Moe’s, after learning that Mayor Melvin Carter Monday Jan. 23 filed an order to have the house leveled, calling it unsafe.
Neighbors then filed a temporary restraining order that was later signed by Ramsey County District Judge Laura Nelson at around 7:30 on Jan. 24, in an effort to legally halt demolition. Early on the 24th, neighbors representing a wide array of community organizations, including the Fort Road Federation and the Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association and others began taking shifts in front of the Burger Moe’s Patio, 242 West 7th, in an effort to convince would-be crews to put down their tools in the face of the restraining order. 
Neighbors have devised plans, which Ward 2 Councilwoman Rebecca Noecker has endorsed, to relocate the home to a nearby lot at no cost to Moe Sharif, who owns Burger Moe’s. Plans would have the structure deconstructed and reassembled. Noecker said that she intended to bring forward a resolution at the Jan. 25 Housing and Redevelopment Authority meeting to approve roughly $100,000 to help with the move. 
“We do have a plan in place, and it can still move forward,” Noecker said.
Ward 7 Councilwoman Jane Prince, who joined in support of neighbors who kept warm next door at Tom Reid’s, said Carter did not reach out to city council before issuing his order, adding she felt his decision was “undemocratic.” Sharif and his attorneys have contended that the structure, which is condemned, poses undue risk to restaurant patrons and staff. Sharif’s attorney Brian Alton did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
This was a developing story at the time of publication. For the most up-to-date information, visit Communityreporter.org.

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