BRAVO! Graeser Park’s rare beehive fireplace has been preserved, and 11 tables rebuilt in picnic area.
MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Property Program project to preserve Graeser Park is nearly complete. They have preserved the rare beehive fireplace and rebuilt 11 picnic tables using salvaged stonework from lost Lilac Way parks.
Our community has waited a long time to enjoy a picnic on a Graeser Park picnic table. We are all grateful to Program Manager Andrea Weber at MnDOT for making this historic park a priority for her program.
Park will be conveyed to city
The city of Robbinsdale and MnDOT are fine-tuning an agreement for MnDOT to convey this property to the city. Once Graeser Park is owned by the city, plans to preserve and restore the park will continue. The date is TBD.
Latest updates to save Rock Island Park from development
Catch up with the latest news and efforts to to save Lilac Way’s Rock Island Park, one of only two rock gardens left in Minnesota.
What was Lilac Way?
The Lilac Way was considered the ‘Showcase’ section of Highway 100 in Minneapolis, MN. Built as a WPA project during the 1930s, this 12.5 mile stretch of highway was lined with thousands of lilacs and seven historic roadside parks.
Lilac Park, restored
Supporting preservation of two historic 1939 Lilac Way parks
Preservation of Graeser Park’s rare beehive fireplace is done, and 11 stone picnic tables have been rebuilt in the picnic area!
Graeser Park in Robbinsdale, MN has one of only two beehive fireplaces left in the U.S. Handcrafted in 1940 as one of seven of Lilac Way parks, MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Properties Program continues their preservation project.
ALERT: Historic Rock Island park is facing a critical decision: preservation as a public park, or development for housing. You can help.
MnDOT has designated Rock Island Park and its surrounding meadows as surplus property. This 1930s WPA hand-built Lilac Way park is located near 28th St. and Toledo Ave. They met with the City of St. Louis Park staff to determine their interest in acquiring the land. This historic park is a ‘sister park’ to restored Lilac Park, and one of only two rock gardens left in MN.
Urge the Mayor and City Council to accept the offer.
Where were the seven Lilac Way parks located on Highway 100?
If you grew up in the area, you probably remember the roadside parks with with picnic tables. The fireplaces had round tops and were nicknamed ‘beehives.”
Only two of the seven parks remain today. Sadly, the other five parks were razed for Highway 100 reconstruction. Check the map for locations and info.
Meet the Lilac Way enthusiast behind this volunteer project.
Karen Laukkonen launched restorelilacway.com to document Lilac Way’s history, and support and encourage restoration.
The pro bono project was conceived, written and designed through her website design company, Laukkonen Design.
Browse the photo albums.
Photo Albums Overview Page
Start your virtual drive down Lilac Way’s history and parks right here.
AT RISK: Rock Island
St. Louis Park, MN
PRESERVATION IS NEARLY COMPLETE: Graeser Park
RESTORED: Lilac Park (formerly Roadside Park)
St. Louis Park, MN