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March 2016

Legal 'Rescue Mission' Saves Historic St. Paul Firehouse

United States - Minnesota

Our firm appeared in front of Judge Margaret Marrinan to save the oldest municipal building in St. Paul, Hope Engine Company No. 3.

The hearing came just days after the team learned the city would issue a demolition permit to the new owner, St. Paul developer David Brooks, that Monday. The team convinced the judge to grant a temporary restraining order ex parte and then they rushed to tape a copy of the order to the building’s door.

By Wednesday, after days of unsuccessful attempts at service, bulldozers arrived at the site. With a flurry of activity, Judge Marrinan, her clerk, and the team set out to ensure the safety of the building. They ran interference from the courthouse and at the site itself. The flurry began in the early morning after the demolition crew started their Caterpillar D-6—the machine known for its "big claw," and a member of the crew yelled, “Clear the area; she's comin' down!” which prompted the team to call the police and get the Judge on the phone.

Since then, the rest of the block has been demolished, but the firehouse remains standing. Still unable to find the defendant to effect service of process, the Secretary of State was served instead. Plaintiffs hope a settlement can be reached and the building can be repurposed in a useful way that preserves this historical landmark.

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