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Rochester

Avalon Music

Avalon Music is a historic three-story red brick building in Rochester, Minnesota. It opened in 1919 as the Northwestern Hotel. The Sam Sternberg family operated it as a kosher restaurant and hotel for Jewish travelers, including many visitors to the Mayo Clinic nearby. In 1944, Vern Manning bought it and renamed it the Avalon Hotel. As the only hotel in the area which welcomed African Americans before desegregation, its guests included Duke Ellington and boxer Henry Armstrong.

It became a local focus of the Civil Rights Movement and opposition to it; both a march for racial equality and a cross burning occurred at the property on August 23, 1963. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It has since been restored as retail and studio space, and houses a shop for musical instruments and audio equipment.