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Discover the story of Lilac Way.

The Lilac Way section of Highway 100 in Minneapolis has a great history.

It includes ‘beehive’ fireplaces, seven roadside parks, the Great Depression, a garden club, and thousands of lilacs.

Created in 1939, it’s still treasured today.

Did you miss Karen’s ‘Lilac Way Stories’ presentation in February?

No problem! You can just see the ‘Lilac Way Stories: History, Restoration and Graeser Park’s Beehive Fireplace’ presentation online. View the full presentation or just the Graeser Park-only section of the presentation.

It was a great night, thanks to the Robbinsdale Diggers Garden Club and everyone who attended.

lilacway-lilac-iconWhat was Lilac Way?

Built in the late 1930’s, Lilac Way was a 12.5 mile stretch of Highway 100 between Highway 52 (now 81) in Robbinsdale, and Highway 5 (78th Street) in Edina.

lilacway-lilac-iconWhy was Highway 100 called Lilac Way?

Inspired by the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., in 1935 a local newspaper encouraged the MN Highway Department to plant lilacs along the new Highway 100. They agreed, and a garden club helped raise money.

Beehive Fireplaces
Roadside Parks
Restored Lilac Park
MnDOT’s Commitment

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 ‘Fred Flintstone’-style picnic tables. The barbecue fireplaces had rounded tops, and were nicknamed ‘The Beehives.”

Only two of the seven parks remain today. Sadly, the other five parks were razed for Highway 100 reconstruction.

Check out the map to see their locations and get more info.

Get to know the Lilac Way enthusiast behind this website.

A TPT documentary inspired Karen Laukkonen to launch restorelilacway.com to document Lilac Way’s history, and support and encourage restoration.

The project was conceived, written and designed pro bono by Karen through her website design company, Laukkonen Design.

Join the groundswell to restore Graeser Park.

Graeser Park in Robbinsdale, MN has one of only two beehive fireplaces left in the U.S.

Built in 1939 by unemployed stonemasons as part of Lilac Way, this historical park desperately needs to be saved and restored.

The other beehive was moved to Lilac Park, then beautifully restored by the City of St. Louis Park in 2009.

Encourage St. Louis Park’s City Council to save Rock Island.

Rock Island (aka Monkey Island) was the north end of the original Lilac Park on Minnetonka Blvd. in St. Louis Park. Now hidden by a noise wall, we encourage the City of St. Louis Park to request that MnDOT transfer ownership to SLP so it can be saved, and restored.

In 2008, the beehive fireplace in the South section of Lilac Park was moved and restored.

Browse the photo albums.

Photo Albums Overview Page

Start your virtual drive down Lilac Way’s history and parks right here.

RESTORED: Lilac Park (formerly Roadside Park)

St. Louis Park, MN

NEEDS TO BE RESTORED: Graeser Park

Robbinsdale, MN

NEEDS TO BE RESTORED: Rock Island

St. Louis Park, MN

Become part of the Lilac Way Storytellers.

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