Arthur and Edith Lee House, 4600 Columbus Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Arthur and Edith Lee House

Arthur and Edith Lee House
Address: 4600 Columbus Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1923
Primary Style: Bungalow/Bungaloid
Secondary Style: Arts and Crafts/Craftsman
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Current Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Aluminum
Material of Roof: Asphalt Shingles
Material of Foundation: Concrete

Field Minneapolis Hennepin

Arthur and Edith Lee bought the corner house in 1931, the lone black couple in an all-white neighborhood. Mobs that sometimes swelled to thousands of people surrounded the home to intimidate and force out the couple and their young daughter, who was 6 at the time.

But the Lees dug in. Arthur Lee’s fellow World War I veterans and postal workers turned out in force to protect the couple, and police protected the house for more than a year.

The Lees endured the hostility for about two years, before moving a mile north to the historically black Central neighborhood. Then the clash faded into history.

The story remained only as lore among south Minneapolis black families until the 2001 publication of research by law Prof. Ann Juergens. Her work focused on a longtime local NAACP leader who represented the Lees during those tense times.

Once the Lees’ story resurfaced, it touched off a decade long effort to preserve the story and the house.[1]



1923 the house was constructed

1927 Eugene Field Neighborhood Association restricts sale of home to Caucasians only

June 1931 Lee Family moves in

July 11-16 1931 Riots

1933 Lee Family moves out

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

National Register Nomination


Site of Racial Showdown

South Minneapolis Reflects

From Ugly History

Professor's Research

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