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MnDOT built—and documented—Lilac Way.

We love finding MnDOT’s historical documents. Best of all, the PDF files are searchable, so you can find specific info.

View in your browser, or download for later. Have something to add to this page? Contact Karen.

Quick links to sections below

1964 MN Department of Highways Maintenance Area 5A Wayside Rest Inventory

1997 MnDOT Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventories

1998 Historic Roadside Development Structures on MN Trunk Highways, Gemini Research

1998 MnDOT Trunk Highway 100 Reconstruction from Glenwood Avenue to 50th Avenue

2002 Identifying, Evaluating, and Preserving Minnesota’s Historic Roadside Facilities, Walton/Anderson

Watch TPT’s MnDOT documentary that inspired this website. Or read a PDF transcription of the video that is searchable.

1964

1964 MN Department of Highways Maintenance Area 5A Wayside Rest Inventory

Minnesota Department of Highways. 1964. Maintenance Area 5A Wayside Rest Area Inventory, PDF 13MB, includes only Lilac Way parks, 13 pages. See reflections.mndigital.org for 26-page original source.

MnDOT Library, individual inventory pages
MnDOT. 1964. Blazer Park – Golden Valley MN Inventory JPG

MnDOT. 1964. Graeser Park North – Robbinsdale MN Inventory JPG

MnDOT. 1964. Graeser Park South – Robbinsdale MN Inventory JPG

MnDOT. 1964. St. Louis Park Roadside Parking Area – St. Louis Park MN Inventory (now restored and renamed Lilac Park, with beehive fireplace from the original Lilac park at Minnetonka Boulevard) JPG

MnDOT. 1964. Original Lilac Park on Minnetonka Boulevard – St. Louis Park MN Inventory JPG

MnDOT. 1964. Excelsior Boulevard Roadside Parking Area – St. Louis Park MN inventory JPG

Glenwood Avenue Roadside Parking Area was razed in 1959, so it was not included in this 1964 inventory.

The three wayside rest areas below were included in this 1964 inventory, but have not been considered part of Lilac Way.

This may need to be re-evaluated.

MnDOT. 1964. Picnic area, 1 mile north of County Road 16 (Cedar Lake Road)- St. Louis Park MN Inventory JPG

MnDOT. 1964. Picnic Area and Lake Access on Twin Lake, Jct. 52 & Hwy. 100 – Robbinsdale, MN JPG

MnDOT. 1964. Rest & Picnic Area on Bassett Creek – Golden Valley MN Inventory JPG

1997

1997 MnDOT Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventories

MnDOT. 1997. Blazer Park – Golden Valley MN Inventory 342KB PDF, 9 pages

MnDOT. 1997. Graeser Park (North and South) – Robbinsdale MN Inventory 544KB PDF, 9 pages

MnDOT. 1997. St. Louis Park Roadside Parking Area – St. Louis Park MN Inventory (now restored and renamed Lilac Park, with beehive fireplace from the original Lilac park at Minnetonka Boulevard.), 341KB PDF, 8 pages

MnDOT. 1997. Original Lilac Park on Minnetonka Boulevard – St. Louis Park MN Inventory 340KB PDF, 8 pages

MnDOT. 2005. Supplement to Historic Roadside Development Structures, MN Trunk Highways, 5MB PDF, 66 pages

Excelsior Boulevard Roadside Parking Area in St. Louis Park was razed in 1969, and Glenwood Avenue Roadside Parking Area was razed in 1959. Therefore, they were not included in this 1997 inventory.

1998

1998 Historic Roadside Development Structures on MN Trunk Highways, Gemini Research

Gemini Research, Morris, MN. Prepared for MnDOT by Susan Granger, Scott Kelly and Kay Grossman. Historic Roadside Development Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways. PDF, 3.3MB, 242 pages

Guide to the Inventory Form. 98KB, 6 pages. (I think this is a companion piece to the report above – same format but I can’t find a date)

1998

1998 Trunk Highway 100 Reconstruction from Glenwood Avenue to 50th Avenue

MnDOTTrunk Highway 100 Reconstruction from Glenwood Avenue to 50th Avenue. 29MB PDF, 302 pages. Please note that this is a large file that was digitized by Google Books as part of an ongoing effort to preserve the information in books and make it universally accessible. (Since the pages are scanned, this PDF is not searchable).

2002

2002 Identifying, Evaluating, and Preserving Minnesota’s Historic Roadside Facilities

Liz Walton, MnDOT Office of Technical Support and Rolf Anderson, Historian. Identifying, Evaluating, and Preserving Minnesota’s Historic Roadside Facilities. PDF, 2.9MB, 18 pages

MnDOT Reports – LOOKING FOR THESE FILES

These reports are referenced on the 1997 MnDOT Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventories. I would love to add these PDF files to this site. Please contact Karen if you can help.

  • Annual Report of the Accomplishments of Roadside Development Along the Trunk Highways in Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Highways. 1938 and 1939.
  • “An Appraisal Inventory of Work Done with W.P.A. and Other Federal Relief Funds Through the Functioning of the Department of Highways, State of Minnesota.” Unpublished manuscript, 1938.
  • Biennial Report of the Commissioner of Highways of Minnesota. 1935-1936 (pub. Jan. 1, 1937; 1937-1938 (pub. Mar. 1, 1939); 1942-1944 (pub. Dec. 1, 1944).
  • Henning, Barbara J. Phases I and II Cultural Resource Historical Investigation: T.H. 100 (Lilac Way) S.P. 2743. Prepared for Minnesota Department of Transportation by Rivercrest Associates, Inc., September 1997.
  • Lee, Rudolph. “Highway Department Approves ‘Lilac Way’ West of City.” Minneapolis Journal, July 28, 1935, pp. 1 and 4.
  • “Lilac Way Here Soon.” Minneapolis Journal, Jan. 30, 1938, p. 2.
  • Meyer, Scott B., Richard L. Mattson, Andrew J. Schmidt. Phase I and II Cultural Resources Investigation for Trunk Highway 100 Reconstruction. Prepared for Minnesota Department of Transportation by The 106 Group Ltd., Feb. 15, 1995.
  • Nichols, A. R., comp. Album of Roadside Development Projects. 7 vols. Photo album prepared for the Roadside Development Division, Minnesota Department of Highways. Ca. 1937-1941.
  • Olson, Harold E., comp. Historical Markers in Minnesota. 4 vols. Prepared by the Roadside Development Division, Minnesota Department of Highways. Ca. 1942, updated ca. 1954.
  • Schmidt, Andrew. Inventory form for Blazer Park. July 15, 1994.

National Park Service link to historic and contemporary resources

MnDOT Programs