The historic Calhoun Beach Club apartment building in Minneapolis will soon change its name, dropping the controversial Calhoun from its 92-year-old moniker, property owners have announced.
In an e-mail last week to its apartment residents and athletic club members, the building owner, Denver-based Aimco, wrote, “Recent events have inspired deeper dialogue and discussion that we are engaging in. Today, in alliance with our broader community, we’re announcing our decision to remove Calhoun from our name. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see us transition to a new name; one that we are still working as a team to finalize.”
John Caldwell Calhoun was a South Carolina politician who is perhaps most noted today as an ardent defender of slavery. He served in the U.S. Senate and as vice president under presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He died in 1850.
The Calhoun Beach Club sits adjacent to the former Lake Calhoun, which was renamed Bde Maka Ska, its original Dakota name, by the Department of Natural Resources in 2018. A court battle ensued, with the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that the DNR had the authority to rename the lake.
Two weeks ago, the owner of the Calhoun Square retail center in Uptown announced that the killing of George Floyd and recent riots and protests about racial inequities prompted it to also change its name.
“The tragic death of George Floyd and ensuing events throughout the country have made it crystal clear that to move forward as a community we must remove painful reminders of the worst chapters in our nation’s history,” the building owner Northpond Partners wrote on Calhoun Square’s website. “A property named for a known racist and champion of slavery has no place in Minneapolis or anywhere in our society.”
Aimco officials could not be reached Tuesday.
According to websites, Calhoun Beach Club opened in 1928 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.