MnDOT’s ‘Beehive Graveyard’ has found new life in Graeser Park.

In 2008, I toured MnDOT’s ‘Beehive Graveyard’. I was stunned to see piles of salvaged 1930s Lilac Way stone. Picnic table tops, bases and broken stone pieces were stacked and scattered in their parking lot.

MnDOT salvaged this stonework from three Lilac Way parks before the parks were razed for a $100 million Highway 100 construction project in 2001.

MnDOT also removed all the picnic tables from Graeser Park, turning the park into a staging area for road construction equipment.

Thrilled, we shared the photos on this website.

Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone materials from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone materials from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone tabletops from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone tabletops from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone tabletops from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone tabletops from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone table base from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone table base from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone table pieces from dismantled Lilac Way parks.
Beehive Graveyard, 2008. Limestone table pieces from dismantled Lilac Way parks.

Shortly after I posted the photos, the City of Robbinsdale transferred those historic materials to their property.

In 2008, Marcia Glick, retired Robbinsdale City Manager, moved salvaged stone from MnDOT's Beehive Graveyard to Robbinsdale for eventual Graeser Park restoration. Photo: Marcia Glick, June 15, 2018.
Marcia Glick, retired Robbinsdale City Manager, rescued these salvaged stone picnic tables tops from MnDOT's Beehive Graveyard in 2008. It was stored in Robbinsdale for future Graeser Park restoration. Photo: Marcia Glick, June 15, 2018.

View a gallery of those salvaged picnic table tops and bases, now rebuilt in Graeser Park!

That salvaged stone is once again at home Graeser Park in Robbinsdale, MN

We are so grateful for the foresight and vision of retired Robbinsdale City Manager Marcia Glick to rescue the salvaged stone. From 2021-23, MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Property Program rebuilt 11 picnic tables in Graeser Park’s using those salvaged pieces as part of a $500,000 restoration project.

We are thrilled to see that the historic 1930s stone is now enjoyed by the community in a Lilac Way park.

Big thanks to Marcia Glick and Andrea Weber, PLA, Manager of MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Property Program. This would never have happened without them.

Retired Robbinsdale City Manager Marcia Glick. 2022. Photo: Elizabeth Flores, StarTribune.
Retired Robbinsdale City Manager Marcia Glick. 2022. Photo: Elizabeth Flores, StarTribune.
Andrea Salo Weber, PLA. Manager of MnDOT Historic Roadside Properties and Waysides Program.
Andrea Salo Weber, PLA. Manager of MnDOT Historic Roadside Properties and Waysides Program.

See all the Beehive Graveyard photos

The 1930s stonework was salvaged from three lost Lilac Way parks.

These 2008 photos show stacks of stone picnic table tops, table bases, wall sections, and loose stones.

All Lilac Way stone structures were built by hand during the Great Depression as one of Minnesota’s largest Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects.