Efforts to save the century-old house at 1904 Princeton Av. in St. Paul came to an abrupt halt Friday as a crew reduced the home to rubble.
Mary Jo Kattar, who struggles with hoarding, couldn't convince city officials or the courts to spare the home. She said a neighbor texted her with the news Friday morning.
"My house is going down today," she wrote in a text message. "Most everyone is sad and frustrated that there was no way to reconsider."
Kattar and her family had held out hope that the city might relent, even after judges and the State Court of Appeals ruled against her. She'd spoken to realtors, she said, who'd assured her she'd get a good price despite extensive city work orders.
But a work crew with an excavator Friday removed any chance the home would be saved.
Kattar and her husband, John, were ordered to vacate the home in 2007 because of Mary Jo's struggles with hoarding. Although the couple have continued paying property taxes and maintaining the yard, city officials said other problems were not addressed.
In December 2020, the City Council declared the house a dangerous structure and unanimously voted for it to be demolished. In December 2021, the state Court of Appeals affirmed that St. Paul indeed had the authority to raze the house.