Address

28 University Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Contact

Phone: 612-813-5300
Email: info@minneapolisparks.org

Hours

Saturdays and Sundays: 1-4 pm
June, July and August

Ard Godfrey House

Part of: Chute Square

Features & Amenities

  • Public Tours

Good to Know

Public Events:

  • Annual 1850's Holiday Party (December)
  • Dandelion Day (May)

Tour reservations not required.

While we own the house, the renovation and operation of the house has been a volunteer project of The Woman's Club of Minneapolis.

Your NPP20 money at work:

Maintenance is increasing at all neighborhood parks, thanks to additional annual funding from the 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan (NPP20). This initiative also funds ongoing rehabilitation and major project to restore neighborhood parks and help address racial and economic equity.

Find Out More

Historical Site Details

Neighborhood: Nicollet Island-East Bank

Service AreaSoutheast

Commissioner District1

   

History

The historic Ard Godfrey house is the oldest surviving frame home in the Twin Cities. Built in 1848, the Greek Revival house was the residence for the Ard Godfrey family.

Godfrey was a Maine millwright who helped build the first dam and sawmills to take advantage of the water power of St Anthony Falls. He was also the first postmaster of the Village of St Anthony. Originally built at Main Street and 2nd Avenue Southeast, the house was moved several times before arriving in Chute Square Park in 1907. The idea of relocating the house was first proposed—and rejected—in 1905. But in October 1908 the park board changed its decision, over the objections of some members of the St Anthony Commercial Club, and gave permission to move the house to the square.

The house was moved by the Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers Association, which also refurbished the exterior of the house to make it “presentable.” The association was given permission to improve the house and convert it into a public museum in 1914. It was extensively restored by the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis in 1975 and was opened to public tours in 1979. A replica of the house’s kitchen wing, which had collapsed in 1908, was opened in 1985, and is filled with furnishings and household items authentic to the period 1849-1853.

Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.