Lee Townhouse

Read about the history and designation of the Lee Townhouse historic landmark.


The Lee Townhouse is a rare example of a large urban townhouse that still stands.

  • Location: 623-25 9th Street South
  • Neighborhood: Elliot Park

Historic photo (Circa 1980)

Lee Townhouse circa 1980


Current photo (2017)

Lee Townhouse 2017





  • Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
  • Architect: William Channing Whitney


  • Historic use: Residential
  • Current use: Residential


  • Construction date: 1887
  • Contractor: Unknown


  • Area(s) of significance: Architecture
  • Period of Significance: 1887
  • Date of local designation: 1985
  • Date of National Register designation: N/A
  • Designation: Exterior 

Historic profile

The Lee Townhouse is a rare standing example of a large urban townhouse. It reflects upper-class housing trends from the late 19th century. This property is part of the Ninth Street South Historic District. It is the only building in the district that was built as a single-family dwelling. In 1894, the townhouse was converted into apartments. It was later converted back into a single-family dwelling.

William H. Lee was a prominent banker. He began working at Hennepin County Savings Bank in 1874 as a teller. He became president of the bank and served until 1927 when the bank merged with Minneapolis Trust Co. It is not known how long the Lee family lived here.

The house is narrow and long. The first story is clad in red sandstone. The upper two stories are clad in red brick. The front porch faces 9th Street South and has pointed archways. The third-story windows are arched with brick arches above. Along the roofline, there is a cornice with corbelled bricks. Rounded brick pilasters extend above the roofline. These features reflect the Romanesque Revival style.

The house was designed by master architect William Channing Whitney. Whitney was known for designing high-style homes for wealthy Minneapolis clients.


Photo credit

  • Circa 1980 photo: Courtesy of Hennepin County Library
  • 2017 photo: Courtesy of Max Hailperin

Work cited

“Draft National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form: William H. Lee Townhouse.”

“Local Heritage Preservation Designation Study: South Ninth Street District,” 1988.

Star Tribune archives

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