Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks’ Detroit Home Is Up for Auction

July 25, 2018, 6:58 PM UTC
US Artist Brings Rosa Parks House To Berlin
BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 06: Rhea McCauley (R), niece of Afro-American human rights figure Rosa Parks, speaks to a journalist while standing next to the former house of Rosa Parks on property of U.S. artist Ryan Mendoza on April 6, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Mendoza bought the house, which was slated for demolition in Detroit, took it apart, shipped it to Germany, and put it back together again on the property next to his studio. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup — Getty Images

On July 25 and 26, Guernsey’s is auctioning off “African American Historic & Cultural Treasures” in New York City. Included in the auction will be civil rights activist Rosa Parks’ Detroit home.

After the “no” heard round the world and the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, Parks moved north to Michigan in 1957 to rejoin her husband and family in the house being auctioned off on Wednesday. Up to 20 people at once lived in the small home, which was around 23 feet wide and 23 feet long, according to Architectural Digest.

The family eventually left the house, but it was purchased by Parks’ niece, Rhea McCauley, in 2014 for $500. Artist Ryan Mendoza partnered with McCauley in 2016 to preserve the house. After restoring the space, he used it as a venue for some of his installations, going as far as to ship to exterior to Berlin to reassemble and ship back.

The house goes on sale today and bidding starts at $400,000. Invaluable estimates that it will be sold at a price between $1 million and $3 million. It comes with a manual on how to assemble the house and includes all original walls and doors, as well as the original steps, roof, chimney and parquet floor.

Other auction items of note include the Jackson 5’s original recording contract, several chapters of the original typed manuscript for Malcom X’s Autobiography complete with handwritten notes from Malcom X and author Alex Haley and the original score sheets from the likes of the Temptations and the Supremes.

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