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.

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

Supporting preservation of two historic 1939 Lilac Way parks

Join the groundswell to restore Graeser Park and its rare beehive fireplace.

Graeser Park in Robbinsdale, MN has one of only two beehive fireplaces left in the U.S. Handcrafted in 1939 as one of seven of Lilac Way parks, this piece of history desperately needs to be saved and restored.

New non-profit group formed for future Graeser Park fundraising

The new Graeser Park Restoration & Preservation (GPR&P) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with one mission – future fundraising to restore Graeser Park.


Help preserve Rock Island and encourage community enjoyment of this 1939 park

Saved from demolition, Rock Island is all that remains of the original Lilac Park on Minnetonka Boulevard. Its oval pool, 10′ footbridge to an island and handcrafted curved stone bench are hidden by a noise wall.

We encourage efforts to preserve and raise awareness for this park. Long-term, we hope it can be restored.

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

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.

Karen Laukkonen launched 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.

RESTORED: Lilac Park (formerly Roadside Park)

St. Louis Park, MN


Robbinsdale, MN


St. Louis Park, MN

Become part of the Lilac Way Storytellers.