Rondo Neighborhood History

ASANDC started out as a neighborhood watch group, founded in 1980 by Ronald Pauline in response to his home being burglarized. It was incorporated in 1982, and it successfully brought neighbors together through block clubs and resident-led watch groups. The organized efforts to remove unwanted businesses from the area resulted in a 80% drop in the crime rate. The organization expanded in the mid-1990s to address the growing concerns about blight in the community. Today ASANDC offers a variety of social, physical, economic and community development programs.

The Summit/University area was part of a large and thriving African-American community that centered around Rondo Avenue in the 1930’s. In addition to many businesses and local organizations, residents were proud homeowners. Because it was often written into home deeds that owners could not sell to African Americans, the Rondo neighborhood proved that African Americans like all others, with pride in their neighborhoods, could better themselves and their surroundings by pride in ownership and community. Sadly, Rondo Avenue was destroyed to make way for the construction of Interstate 94 in the 1960’s. This was a very sad time for the dislocated neighborhood that never recovered to the prior level of entrepreneurship. Many of the residents have soldiered on to keep the memories of the pride in this important community alive.

Fredrick L. McGhee


Fredrick McGee

At 665 University Ave., McGhee founded the Niagra Movement (led by W.E.B. Dubois). McGhee also formed a local civil rights unit called the Twin Cities Protective League.

Because of his national connections to other organizations, McGhee became one of the League’s two delegates to the first convention of the NAACP in Chicago. Unfortunately, McGhee died in 1912, a year before the NAACP would take root in St. Paul. When the St. Paul chapter of the NAACP convened its first meeting on September 19, 1913, the members founded the chapter in his memory.

La Fayette Fields


Pictured here are La Fayette Fields (1896-1982), of Majestic Drug Store, 620 Rondo St., (corner of I-94 and Dale) and the diminutive “Buck” Parcell, a salesman for Howel’s Root Beer.

Fields was an institution in St. Paul. One of the most respected members of the black community from the 1940’s until his death, he was the first black pharmacist to graduate from the University of MN and for several years was the only black pharmacist who owned his own store.

St. Paul African American Historic and Cultural Context Study

Anne Ketz, 106 Group, and Nieeta Presley, Aurora Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation’s, co-present at the 2020 MN Statewide Preservation Conference.

How to Get Involved


By becoming a volunteer, you have the opportunity to make a change within a community that has a long standing history in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.

I want to see young people in America feel the spirit of the 1960s and find a way to get in the way. To find a way to get in trouble. Good trouble, necessary trouble.