28 University Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Saturdays and Sundays: 1-4 pm
June, July and August
Part of: Chute Square
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.
Major investments at Central Gym Park in 2018 were made possible with funding from the 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan. This historic agreement between MPRB and the City of Minneapolis helps address racial and economic equity across 160 neighborhood parks and provides $11 million annually to maintain, repair and replace facilities.
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.