Place

Avalon Hotel

three story brick building on the side of a road with a parking lot and cars
Avalon Hotel

Photograph by Robert Frame III, courtesy of Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office

Quick Facts
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, the Avalon Hotel in Rochester, Minnesota, was part of the early hotel building boom that grew out of the 20th century. The Hotel was constructed as a necessary reaction to the advent of the medical practice of the Doctors Mayo and the growth of the city of Rochester as a national and international medical center. In conjunction, local hotels and guest house business expanded to serve vast numbers of transient Mayo Clinic patients in the area. The Avalon Hotel became the only hotel available in Rochester for Black patients at the clinic, a function it performed for several decades until the end of color barriers. It also served as the only hotel available for other prominent Black visitors including among its clientele Duke Ellington and his band, the Ink Spots, and boxer Henry Armstrong. In a variety of ways, the Avalon Hotel represents the ethnic, social, and geographical diversity of people brought to Rochester by the presence of the Mayo Clinic, as well as representing the nature of the social interaction between this population and an otherwise typical Midwestern farming community. Today the Avalon, renamed Broadway Square, continues as a rental facility, offering apartments to all visitors, and is undergoing interior remodeling to provide modern commercial sales space.

Link to Avalon Hotel file

Last updated: August 6, 2021