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Discover the story of Lilac Way.

Lined with 7,000 lilac bushes, Lilac Way was a 12.5 mile ‘Showcase Section’ of Highway 100 near Minneapolis, MN.

Built by the WPA during the Great Depression of the 1930s, it featured seven roadside parks with beehive-shaped fireplaces and stunning rock gardens.

Only two parks remain today, plus a rock garden from a third park. Help support preservation of Graeser Park and Rock Island and visit restored Lilac Park.

ROCK ISLAND ALARM, Oct. 16, 2021

All Lilac Way fans: Join the “Say Yes to Rock Island Park” virtual rally!

Help us show St. Louis Park Mayor Spano and the City Council that our community wants them to say YES, and accept Rock Island park for free from MnDOT. Send your photo today!

ROCK ISLAND ALARM, Oct. 10, 2021

SLP Residents: Urge Mayor Spano and City Council to accept MnDOT offer of free historic Rock Island park, save it from private developer

You only need to click one button to write and send your own email to seven key decision-makers. Super quick and easy.

ROCK ISLAND ALARM, Oct. 3, 2021

MnDOT wants to relinquish ownership of Rock Island; City of St. Louis Park given right of first refusal

In a Sept. 30th meeting with City of St. Louis Park staff, MnDOT gave the City right of first refusal (ROFR) to accept the land for FREE.

lilacway-lilac-iconWhat 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.

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.

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Watch 80+ Lilac Way videos on YouTube

Beehive Fireplaces
 Seven Parks
Graeser Park
Lilac Park, restored

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.

Group formed for future Graeser Park fundraising

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

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Help preserve Rock Island and raise awareness 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.

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 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.

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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.

RESTORED: Lilac Park (formerly Roadside Park)

St. Louis Park, MN

NEEDS TO BE RESTORED: Graeser Park

Robbinsdale, MN

NEEDS TO BE PRESERVED: Rock Island

St. Louis Park, MN

Become part of the Lilac Way Storytellers.