As wrecking crews demolished the house known as "The Orth," HGTV's Rehab Addict star Nicole Curtis was there taking video for YouTube and expressing disapproval at the Minneapolis City Council member who represents the neighborhood around it.
YouTube: Orth demolition
Curtis was also talking about it on Facebook:
"Yesterday, a back hoe took down a brilliant home in Minneapolis. My critics were waiting for me to chain myself to the porch and cry? No, this is one of those situations where you give someone enough rope-they eventually hang themselves. Our council member, Lisa Bender lied...the Orth died. You can hashtag that, quote it, put it on a t-shirt. The truth is we did everything possible and many high ranking officials in Minneapolis -okay all of them except for two council members Lisa Goodman and Blong Yang,turned a blind eye to the deceit and collaboration with the developer and owner.
Lisa Bender,congrats! You won-you proved yourself to be a destroyer of history and capable of talking out of both sides of your mouth, and then some. I'm sorry-did you want to know how I really feel;)) and demo is never green." - Nicole Curtis
Curtis told Fox 9 over the phone why she believed she had the right to speak out on social media.
"I'm a taxpayer. I live in the city of Minneapolis. I own three properties here. Lisa Bender is actually my representative. What I have is a social media following of over a million people. I cannot police all their comments," she said.
Meanwhile, in the thousands of comments to Curtis' posts, some resorted to crass words like, "I would like to 'bender' over and send a wrecking ball thru her sorry hide."
"Would I ever condone someone being violent or using language that's not appropriate? Never," Curtis said.
Curtis pointed out a post she made after the mayor voiced concerns, which said she did not condone threats of violence and to only use words that "could be used around our family priest."
"Hi Everyone! As much as I would love to have control over the million of you that follow my page-we know I don't. I don't condone threats of violence nor anything of that sort. It's quite odd that I have to state that, but want to make it very clear. I am posting under my (last time I checked) right as a concerned citizen to question decisions made by elected officials. I have done this in a legal, grassroots manner which is what I am known for and support. So, I will ask that anyone who posts on this page use words that could be used around our family priest-I would say Grandma, but my Grandma does use some colorful language. Thank you for your understanding.
***sorry some people are misunderstanding. I get called names all day and take it- the Mayor of Minneapolis has accused me of condoning people on this page using vulgar names and writing irrational comments (imagine that being found on the internet)-..so please when you support our causes know that absolutely we will ban and delete any comments that we see that are violent or vulgar." - Nicole Curtis
A local blogger had already gathered and posted the worst comments, and apparently Mayor Hodges is a reader. She linked to it in her own Facebook post.
"This behavior is reprehensible. Nicole Curtis has fomented and abetted this behavior, and she has done *nothing* to either stop it or exhort her supporters to exhibit civility and decorum. Removing the post isn't enough. Nicole Curtis should apologize to the residents of my city, the Minneapolis City Council, and Council Member Lisa Bender for Curtis' own harmful bombast (not, I should be clear, for her opinions) and for not calling for her supporters to cease and desist their appalling, disgusting behavior. Buildings, architecture, and history all matter. People matter more, and this language and behavior debases the humanity both of the accuser and the accused. Nothing in the current situation justifies it, and nothing in the current situation excuses the silent witness of Nicole Curtis or her supporters to this behavior. Whatever you think about the policy issue, to support this kind of hateful response is unconscionable." - Mayor Hodges
Curtis told Fox 9 her anger is directed at the city for failing to investigate the house further before it was demolished.
The city said the judge's order sided with experts who said the house lacked "historic integrity," proving the long fight over the Orth outlives the house.