Pauline Fjelde House, 3009 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Pauline Fjelde House

Pauline Fjelde House
Pauline Fjelde House
Address: 3009 Park Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Central, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1907
Year razed: 2009
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Historic Function: Weaving, Embroidery and Dressmaking shop
Current Function: Razed
Architect or source of design: Boehm and Cordella
Builder: Olof Eneroth
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Stucco
First Owner: Pauline Gerhardine Fjelde

Central Minneapolis Hennepin County

Pauline Fjelde House, 3009 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.947968° N, 93.264796° WLatitude: 44°56′52.685″N
Longitude: 93°15′53.266″W

Pauline Gerhardine Fjelde was born in Aalesund Norway in 1861. Her father Paul was a master wood carver and furniture maker. Her mother Claudine, was an expert seamstress. Following her mother's example, Pauline became a very talented painter, seamstress, embroiderer, and weaver.

In 1887 Pauline immigrated to the United States with her brother Jacob. They settled in Minneapolis where their brother Oswald lived. In 1888 their sister Thomane, brother Herman and mother Claudine joined them. Pauline and Thomane started a dressmaking and embroidery business.

Jacob, became famous sculptor. His works include the Minnesota monument at Gettysburg, the Minerva sculpture at the Minneapolis Public Library, the Ole Bull statue in Loring Park, and the Hiawatha and Minnehaha sculpture at Minnehaha Falls.[1]

In 1893, Pauline and her sister Thomane were chosen to embroider the first Minnesota state flag (used from 1893 to 1957). The flag won a gold medal at the 1893 World Columbian exposition in Chicago.

In 1907, Pauline Fjelde had a duplex built at 3009 Park Avenue South in Minneapolis. She wanted a structure large enough to serve as both a business and a home for herself and other family members. The house was designed by architects Boehme & Cordella and built by Olof Eneroth for $7500. [1]

Pauline's sister Thomane Fjelde Hansen lived in 3008 Park directly across the street. Thomane and Martin Hansen's house was moved to 2930 Park Avenue, where it still survives today.

In December 1910, Pauline traveled to Europe to study the Gobelin method of tapestry weaving in Copenhagen and Paris. She also studied Norwegian billedvaevning (Picture Weaving) in Norway.

Like her brother Jacob, Pauline was interested in creating a work of art devoted to the story of Minnesota Native Americans Hiawatha and Minnehaha. She commissioned a sketch from Danish painter Hans Andersen Brendkilde which she used as the scene for her tapestry.

Pauline's work on her "Hiawatha" tapestry took between 10-13 years. During this time Pauline became seriously ill. She taught her sister and one of her nieces the Gobelin weaving technique so they could complete the tapestry after her death.

Lila Nelson, a master weaver and retired curator of textile arts at the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah Iowa, provides an expert assessment of Pauline's tapestries in her article "A Forgotten Artist Remembered: The Tapestry Weaving of Pauline Fjelde" for the Norwegian Textile Letter.[1]media:Mdougla--nortl1104.pdf

In August 2008, the Pauline Fjelde house was purchased by the owners of a block of circa 1920s stores on Lake street. The stores are a few feet away from the house. In November 2008, they applied for a wrecking permit to demolish the house. They wanted to use the land the house occupied for a parking lot.

Central Neighborhood housing committee member Brian Finstad identified Pauline Fjelde as the original owner of the house. Brian and other neighborhood activists conducted an intensive research effort regarding the house and Fjelde family which revealed the importance of their contribution to the arts and culture of the City of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota.

Inspired by their discoveries, a coalition of preservationists was formed to oppose the demolition of the Pauline Fjelde house.

The wrecking permit application was denied by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission on January 13, 2009. This decision was upheld when appealed to the Minneapolis Zoning and Planning Committee.

The doors and windows of the house were left unlocked. A fire which caused extensive damage to the house occurred on September 30, 2009.

The Fjelde advocates continued to fight for the survival of the house. An accident with a pallet of wood beams destroyed part of the supporting

structure of the roof a few days before Christmas. A blizzard warning was issued.

The house was razed by emergency demolition order on December 24, 2009.[1]

A few years after the house was demolished, the Pauline Fjelde chapter of the daughters of Norway was formed. The Lake Street Council participated in a Museum of the Streets project featuring plaques placed on Lake Street containing the stories of important historical persons and events.

A plaque commemorating the contribution of Pauline Fjelde and her family was placed at the corner of 29th and Park Avenue.


Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

[1] Home of Pauline Fjelde is Threatened by the Wrecking Ball by Brian Finstad

[2] Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission 1/13/2009

[3]City of Minneapolis report

[4] Pauline Fjelde appeal

[5] An Artist's Odessey

[6] Saving the Fjelde House or Not

[7] Minnesota's First State Flag

[8] Mpls Pauline Fjelde discussion

[9] Fjelde house burns - September 30, 2009

[10] Fjelde house razed - December 24, 2009

[11] ]The Pauline Fjelde House is Demolished

[12] Photos of the Pauline Fjelde House Demolition

[13] Senseless Destruction of the Pauline Fjelde House

[14] Fjelde House: Gone, but still "protected"


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