Willard Homewood is one of the most storied neighborhoods in North Minneapolis. Known for its grand early 20th century homes, the area was the setting for violent race riots in 1967. More recently, it has become a haven for artists and their families, with one 16-square block now called the Artists’ Core.
Despite the renewal, Willard Homewood has been hit hard by widespread foreclosures over the years. Some houses have been torn down; others are boarded up. “You have these terrific old buildings, but many are victims of decay,” says Katie White, a program assistant in the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development department. “Yet, there’s still a strong neighborhood underneath it all, even if the physical housing stock doesn’t always reflect that.”