The 2007 Campaign to Restore Lilac Way has evolved into a Lilac Way living repository with a new purpose.
A new restorelilacway.com mobile-ready website launched in spring 2018, with 30+ pages, hundreds of new and old photos, MnDOT inventory reports, map, and videos.
The website’s mission is threefold:
- DOCUMENT the 1939 history and seven roadside parks of Lilac Way, a 12.5 mile stretch of Highway 100 from Robbinsdale to Edina, MN
- SUPPORT a community effort to restore Graeser Park after MnDOT transfers ownership to the City of Robbinsdale, MN (final transfer date is to determined)
- ENCOURAGE St. Louis Park to reevaluate the Rock Garden section of the original Lilac Park on Minnetonka Boulevard in St. Louis Park, MN. The parks’s beehive fireplace and picnic table were moved and restored, but the Rock Garden with a large curved bench, pool, island and two sets of stairs could be revitalized.
Laukkonen Design did the signage for St. Louis Park’s Lilac Park, which includes a restored beehive fireplace and picnic tables. The hope is that the new website and revived Facebook will inspire the community to restore remaining Lilac Way structures.
After watching the TPT/MnDOT documentary called ‘Highway 100: Lilac Way’ in 2007, Karen Laukkonen was inspired to recreate the original effort to sell lilacs. She started designing a Campaign to Restore Lilac Way poster that very night.
After three years of work, she had to put the Campaign on hold. It has now been replaced with this Lilac Way website to document history and support restoration.
This project is a labor of love—Laukkonen Design donates all creative work for the project.
Karen remembers the lilacs.
Growing up in St. Louis Park, Karen loved the rows of lilacs planted along Highway 100. Her dad told her, ‘You didn’t drive on Lilac Way, you drove TO Lilac Way.” It was more than just a highway—it was a destination.
Please join the effort to share and restore Lilac Way’s history.