Judge Orders City To Secure Fire-Damaged Kozy; Demolition, Restoration Still On Table

 

DULUTH, Minn. — The condemned Kozy building in downtown Duluth is saved again from demolition by the city — at least for now.

St. Louis County Judge Eric Hylden has ordered the city of Duluth and the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) to immediately install braces against the walls of the building damaged by fire last November.

After that, the city is ordered to get estimates on the cost to remove debris from the roof and lower levels if possible before possibly “restoring the structural integrity of the building.”

The court believes this phased approach will allow the court, city, and former Kozy owner Eric Ringsred to collect information to help decide what happens next.Kozy

Meanwhile, Ringsred’s son, who is also his attorney in this case, told FOX 21’s Dan Hanger Wednesday that preserving Duluth’s history is imperative for its future and he maintains the reason the building has gotten in the shape it is today falls on the city of Duluth — not his father.

“It’s plaintiffs position that this very easily could have been avoided a long time ago and this could be a beautifully viable structure contributing to the historic arts district downtown, and it’s a bit of making sure we don’t lose sight of that,” Miles Ringsred said.

 

DEDA took ownership of the historic structure on East Superior Street in 2015 after Ringsred failed to pay his property taxes.

Ringsred has continued to fight the city in court to keep the building from demolition.

The city had no comment Wednesday about the judge’s order but has said in the past that all problems with the Kozy property are the fault of Ringsred.

The Kozy, originally known as the historic Pastoret Terrace, first went up in flames in 2010 before quickly being condemned since then.

“I think in a capitalist’s society like ours where it’s becoming more and more of a just build it and discard it — be ready to get rid of it and replaced — that it’s important to protect these things,” Miles Rinsred said.

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