Come Home to Where Recovery Began: 2218 Alano Society of Minneapolis

2218 House / Cheryl Larson

Let me introduce you to the Grande Dame of recovery in the upper Midwest.

She is a beautiful, historic wood mansion built in 1887, bright cheery yellow trim on brown. She is beautiful not only for the structure but for what she holds. She IS 2218! She IS the world’s longest continuously running Alano and she IS HOME. Home to recovery, where it all started in the upper Midwest. She holds our collective birthplace, and this year she celebrated her 80th anniversary of fostering our collective growth, to share experience, strength, and hope.

In her early days both Bill W and Dr Bob, the founders of AA spoke here. The cofounder of Al-anon, Lois W, spoke also. She is an understated celebrity. She was featured in Life magazine as well as local newspapers. She was home to Founder’s Day before the event needed more space. A rich history was created here and continues to grow here.

She was the birthplace of NUWAY!

”NUWAY is inextricably connected to 2218. In the mid-1960s, members of 2218 saw a need for individuals coming out of treatment from places like Willmar State Hospital, Mission Lodge and Hazelden and who were struggling to remain sober. A common thread amongst these individuals was the lack of safe sober housing. Members of 2218 decided to do something about it by opening one of the first halfway houses for alcoholics in the entire country.” ―Monique Bourgeois, NUWAY, CCRO.

The last of those NUWAY founders recently passed away with over 58 years of continuous sobriety and membership at 2218. NUWAY clients and friends proudly yell out “NUWAY” as their fellows of NUWAY earn medallions or speak at 2218.

She is tied directly to Hazelden and Mission Farms also. Her founder, Minnesota’s AA #1 if you will, Pat Cronin, was the early counselor at Mission Farms and at what became Hazelden Plymouth. Pat Cronin in fact has a unit at Hazelden in Center City named after him. Can you hear the alums yelling “Cronin!”

SEE ALSO  How to Keep Your Sanity During the Holidays

What makes her remain so special? It is simple, she IS home. Home to the recovery that has never missed a single day, not one single day. Her doors have remained open during blizzards, during social unrest and during the recent pandemic. She offers shelter and hope with in-person group meetings and one-to-one meetings every single day.

She has offered us time to step back from our stress and cut loose. She has held dances from black tie to DJ rap, she has held recovery karaoke and open mic nights, she has held drag shows and bike runs. She even became home to a recovery podcast.

She will soon host the 4th annual 2218 Ride for Recovery on Saturday June 25th, a fundraiser for critically needed building repairs to keep the doors open. A full day of events for riders and non-riders alike as she loves us all. Kick off with a pancake breakfast and a St Paul Harley Davidson. After the run leaves for a visit to the Mankato Alano, the festivities will kick back up at 2218 directly. She will host games, live music, speakers, silent auction, a medallion ceremony, and a BBQ complete with a cake! She knows how to celebrate recovery.

So why come home? To refuel. To reconnect. To renew hope.

“2218 is more than a place that houses meetings. It is a place where epiphanies are born, and people learn new ways to live.” ―A. M.

She welcomes ALL home.

“2218 was the first Alano that accepted me as an addict.” ―Romney S.

“I am grateful for the healing environment that it provides.” ―Anonymous.

Now on the National Registry of Historic Places, she is amazing. On entering, you feel her warmth as you are welcomed into the mansion. When you come home, reach out and request a tour and experience the history firsthand. When you stop in, check out a meeting and find hope.

SEE ALSO  Laura's Story

“2218 has always been a place of hope for me. A place that welcomed me at my lowest point in life when no others would. I found life there, and eventually when I accepted a spiritual solution, passed that way of life onto others there. I consider it a home.” ―Curtis M.

How could you not want to meet her? She IS amazing. Do visit.

2218, the Alano Society of Minneapolis
2218 1st Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404


Please send your any Recovery Spotlight stories to Thank you.

Last Updated on May 13, 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.