Lena O. Smith House

You can read about the history and designation of the Lena O. Smith House historic landmark.




Address: 3905 5th Avenue South

Neighborhood: Bryant

Construction Date: 1912

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Architectural Style: Classical Revival

Historic Use: Private Residence

Current Use: Private Residence

Date of Local Designation: 1996

Date of National Register Designation: 1991

Area of Significance: Historic Person

Period of Significance: 1927-1940

Historic Profile: The Lena Olive Smith House is the only extant building associated with the prominent civil rights attorney and activist, a founding member of the Urban League of Minneapolis, and the first woman president of the Minneapolis National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. As the only practicing African-American female lawyer between 1890 and 1927, she fought for civil rights issues such as equal protection under the law, equal access to housing, and the right to join labor unions. The Lena O. Smith house is preserved as a tribute to her leadership among African-American communities in fighting to end racial discrimination and segregation in Minneapolis.

Photo Credits:

1913, Lena Smith and client, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Registration Form," September 1991.

Updated: February 2007

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Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415