Apartments proposed for African American Museum site

The Coe Mansion. Image courtesy of city of Minneapolis

The Coe Mansion at 1700 3rd Ave. S. is now slated to become apartments instead of a museum devoted to African American history.

Work to convert the building into a museum began in 2011 and was never completed, according to the city, and the building has been vacant since at least 2009. Roman Gadaskin is in the process of purchasing the property, according to the city.

The city’s Heritage Preservation Commission signed off on plans in September to convert the home and carriage house into nine apartment units.

The Coe Mansion carriage house. Image courtesy of city of Minneapolis
Coe Mansion carriage house. Image courtesy of city of Minneapolis

The residence was constructed in 1884 for Amos B. Coe, a Minneapolis real estate developer. It was used as a single-family home for 24 years and became a hospital in 1908. It was later used as an orphanage in 1928, and a company that acquired the property in 1960 renovated the building for six residences. The property was vacant and boarded in 1982. The city required that the house either be rehabbed or demolished, which spurred its rehabilitation and placement on the National Register of Historic Places. The house became a duplex, and the carriage house temporarily served as a bed-and-breakfast.

No exterior work is planned, aside from brick repair. A letter from designer Karen Gjerstad said the new owner hopes to keep as much of the interior intact as possible, and therefore requests permission to install two units at 288 and 275 square feet, less than the 350 square feet required by zoning.

The Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center could not be reached for comment.