comScore

Views of the Witch's Hat Tower matter more than views from it

Downtown Minneapolis, as seen from the Witch's Hat Tower. Not pictured: St. Paul, which is also pretty nice to look at.

Downtown Minneapolis, as seen from the Witch's Hat Tower. Not pictured: St. Paul, which is also pretty nice to look at. Steve Cohen

All along the watchtower/
Neighbors kept the view/
While photo takers came and went/
But once a year, sometimes in June

That's the song Robert "Bob Dylan" Zimmerman would've written today, if he was young, and living in Minneapolis, and more interested in NIMBY-riffic real estate squabbles over local landmarks than poetry and theft.

There's no poetry in this KSTP story about neighbors in the Prospect Park area of Minneapolis banding together to sue a development company. But there is some theft. An allegation, at least: According to the Friends of Tower Hill Park, a planned mixed-use development in the same neighborhood as the Prospect Park Water Tower, more commonly known as the "Witch's Hat Tower," and occasionally credited as the inspiration for lyrics that did well by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and (best of all, for our money; Bob's, too) Richie Havens, among others.

The argument from the Friends of Tower Hill Park is that a 14-story development would ruin neighborhood views, though only occasionally. One day a year, to be more specific. 

One. Day. A. Fucking. Year.

(See: this [very pretty!] City Pages slideshow.)

And it's not even as if this development will consume the whole witch's hat. (Never a good idea to eat a witch's clothing, which is often accursed.) The Tower Hill Park people say this series of buildings will cut off "the views from its observation deck of the Minnesota State Capitol, the Cathedral of St. Paul, Cathedral Hill and downtown St. Paul," per their lawsuit, as reported by KSTP.

Hey, guys? Wanna see St. Paul? Drive over there. Take the light rail! You're right on it, it shoots you right down University Ave. You'll be there in, like, 15 minutes maybe? 

If you absolutely insist on see St. Paul's sites from some elevation... rent a helicopter? Climb a ladder? Learn to fly?

Hell, if you'll give us your names and let us run a background check, we at City Pages would probably let you into Capella Tower and lead you to a window from which you can see stuff pretty good. Frankly, building managers would probably be more comfortable with your guys' presence than with ours.

If this major construction project gets blocked because people assert their right to take eastward-facing pictures on the first Friday after Memorial Day, there really is no hope for this city, and we should all move... perhaps to St. Paul, where views of St. Paul are easily obtained.

"Plowmen dig my earth," Dylan wrote, though they won't be digging anything if these litigious assholes have anything to say about it.