Lena Olive Smith House
Address: 3905 5 th Avenue South
Construction Date: 1912
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.
1913, Lena Smith and client, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society
2006, Minneapolis CPED
"City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Registration Form," September 1991.
Updated: February 2007
Last updated Feb 8, 2019