Well not quite tumbling.
Actually, workers are painstakingly lowering the wall, brick by brick.
It is the wall built by Colorado Springs residents Holger and Sally Christiansen. He’s an architect. She’s in real estate. They live in the Historic Old North End Neighborhood.
They erected the elaborate structure around their compound on North Cascade Avenue, just north of Uintah Street and Colorado College.
They started in July 2007 using brick they shipped from Virginia. Only problem . . . they didn’t get the necessary permits and permissions needed to build in the city, much less in the hyper-restrictive North End Historic District.
Not only does the neighborhood have a homeowners association, all work done on the outside of houses there must be approved by the Historic Preservation Board.
Despite being rejected by neighbors and the preservation board, the couple pushed ahead with their wall construction. The city finally got them to stop work on the wall, but not before they had encroached nearly two feet into the city alley and nearly completed the structure.
It stands well higher than the 6 feet maximum allowed without a variance and its decorative pineapple-shaped finials soar nearly 11 feet high. See them in photos I posted in a January blog entry.
Efforts to negotiate a settlement failed and ultimately the city sued to force compliance with city codes. In February, after a three-day trial, a judge found in the city’s favor and ordered the wall into compliance within 90 days.
Here’s a blog I wrote about the trial with links to previous blogs and stories.
Below is a photo of the next-door neighbor’s fence, and its decorative finials, with the Christiansens’ shrinking wall in the background.
The couple’s decision to comply and shrink the wall does not necessarily end the saga.
They’ve asked permission to keep their finials. The request is pending city approval.
While they wait, work is progressing.
Besides deconstruction, the Christiansens have had to deal with other problems related to their wall. The prolonged dispute caused a lot of hard feelings and some have stooped to obscene graffiti to voice their opinion.
Some might find the next photo objectionable. It was taken by Gazette staffer Mike Eiler about two weeks ago.
It is a good example of the emotions stirred by the case.