Rosa Parks House Finds New Life in Berlin

May 4, 2017

Rosa Parks House in Berlin Enlarge image The house were Rosa Parks lived for a brief time in Detroit has been reassembled in Berlin. (© dpa) An artifact of the American Civil Rights Movement has made a long trek across the Atlantic and found a new home in Berlin. The house that civil rights icon Rosa Parks lived in for two years in Detroit in the 1950—after fleeing death threats and employment discrimination in her native Alabama—has been rebuilt in Berlin's Wedding district. 

Parks' niece, Rhea McCauley, tried to preserve the house in Detroit, but she eventually turned to Berlin-based American artist Ryan Mendoza. Mendoza had previously moved the facade of an abandoned Detroit house to Europe for a different art installation.

After having the Rosa Parks House dismantled in Detroit, Mendoza carefully reassembled the modest clapboard house in a back courtyard in Berlin's Wedding district. Now, with sound performances, including Rosa Parks' own voice from a radio interview, the house has come alive again and is now a memorial to peaceful civil protest, something the people of Berlin know well.


Rosa Parks House


Rhea McCauley and Ryan Mendoza

Rhea McCauley and Ryan Mendoza

Rosa Parks' niece Rhea McCauley and artist Ryan Mendoza