Spring Lake Park residents Karen Ellingsworth and Lenny Grossman are not superstitious, but living at 666 Ione Ave. proved to be too much for the couple.
The number 666, “the number of the beast” in the Bible’s book of Revelations, has long been associated with evil.
The couple were not worried about the address when they made an offer on the home the first day they saw it, Grossman said. They purchased the residence in December 2012.
“It’s our home sweet home,” Grossman said. “We’re loving it.”
Though the house hasn’t given them grief, other people have. So the couple looked into how much changing the address might cost.
“It was just a matter of everybody else with their remarks and their raised eyebrows,” Grossman said. “It got a little old.”
They’ve been barraged with sideways glances and warnings from too many people to count: an attendant at the Department of Motor Vehicles, contractors at the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show and even neighbors.
A year ago, Ellingsworth and Grossman tried to rectify the problem themselves. They took down their house number and replaced it with words, “six sixty six,” so that “it wouldn’t be so stark to the superstitious person,” Grossman said. “It’s more pleasant to the eye.”
But people still reacted strongly, so they approached the Spring Lake Park City Council about making a change.
The council discussed Ellingsworth and Grossman’s dilemma at its meeting April 7 and agreed to change the address to 668 Ione Ave. There is a gap in house numbers on either side of the couple’s residence, so they could have selected 664 or 668, City Administrator Dan Buchholtz said.
The address change will cost the couple $100 and will take effect 30 days after a public notice is published.
“The 30-day window gives them some time to get it all lined up with the post office and with public safety, to get those systems updated so that the address change is seamless,” Buchholtz said.
Grossman thinks the hassle and $100 will be worth the change, he said. “We’re going to stay here for the rest of our lives.”
There are no other 666 addresses in Spring Lake Park, but there are five more throughout Anoka County: one in Blaine, three in Columbia Heights and one in Fridley.
Buchholtz cannot recall the council changing a 666 number in Spring Lake Park previously, but it isn’t the first time such a change has occurred in the county. Years ago, Fridley United Methodist Church changed its address from 666 Mississippi St. to 680.
Olivia Koester is at firstname.lastname@example.org