Judge dismisses case filed to stop demolition of St. Paul’s Hamline Midway Library

A Ramsey County judge has dismissed a case filed against the city of St. Paul and the St. Paul Public Library that claimed they were violating state environmental laws in its effort to demolish the Hamline Midway Library.

The community group Renovate 1558 claimed the planned demolition violates the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act (MERA). The motion also called for a temporary restraining order to stop the city from demolishing or making preparations to demolish the library.

This latest ruling allows plans for the demolition of the library to move forward.

The action was dismissed without prejudice and without award of court costs or attorneys’ fees to either party.

RELATED: St. Paul plans to demolish Hamline Midway Library; community members work to save it

Renovate 1558 also launched a petition in hopes of saving the original structure.

The library dates back to the 1930s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, although the city disputes that designation, according to court documents.

The library closed back in May and work on the new building is set to begin this fall.

The new library, which is expected to be complete after 18 months of construction, is set to include an outdoor reading garden, an interactive play area for children, study and meeting rooms, a wellness room, an area for teens and space to feature public art. It’s also designed as a one-story building that will feature low shelving for greater accessibility.

This rendering shows the new Hamline Midway Library planned in St. Paul. (City of St. Paul)

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s 2022 library budget address included the plan to allocate $8.1 million over two years to the library. After getting input from community members, the city moved forward with a plan to replace the nearly 93-year-old Hamline Midway Library.

For more information on the preservation efforts through Renovate 1558, click here.

To learn more about the city’s plans for the new library, click here.