Graeser Park Research and Resources

This is not a complete list, but sources are added as they are discovered.

Graeser Park logo 2023 300px, small version

January 2024: Graeser Park is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places!

After reviewing thorough and well-written documentation from MnDOT, on January 22, 2024 the MN State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) agreed that Graeser Park is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Now that it is eligible, there is another step to get it officially listed on the Register.


The Evaluation of Graeser Park prepared for the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office is available online in Minnesota’s State Historic Inventory Portal.

Main website link: Phase II Evaluation: Graeser Park, Robbinsdale, Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Attachment files

June 2023 – Phase II Evaluation, Graeser Park Robbinsdale, Hennepin County, Minnesota (141 pages, 74.7 MB)
Prepared for the Minnesota Department of Transportation Cultural Resource Unit and Site Development Unit
Attention: Katherine Haun Schuring
by Carole Zellie, M.S., M.A. Landscape Research LLC St. Paul, MN, June 2023

January 2024 – Descriptive Narrative, Graeser Park Robbinsdale, Hennepin County, Minnesota (63 pages, 21.9 MB)
HE-RBC-00025 Attachment Final_202401.pdf
Inventory Number: HE-RBC-00025
Historic Name: Graeser Park
Address: T118 R21 S1/2 of Sec. 9

This Phase II National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) evaluation was prepared for use in determining the history, significance, and current integrity of Graeser Park (HE-RBC-025) in Robbinsdale, Hennepin County, Minnesota. Completed in 1940-41, the park was the largest and most complex of seven Belt Line (TH 100) roadside parks designed by Arthur R. Nichols and the Roadside Development Division of the Minnesota Department of Highways (MDH).

Additional resources

Dombrowsky, Peter W. 1988. Graeser Park: Proposed Hennepin County Library, Robbinsdale Branch. Senior Thesis Project, Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota.Michele Hagen, Interim Archivist in Research Library of Hennepin History Museum has confirmed in February 2020 that HHM has all of these original files in B94 Parks-Minneapolis and Hennepin County section. 10.3MB PDF, 11 pages.

Living New Deal, “Graeser Park – Robbinsdale, MN” Originally submitted by Colleen Patterson, Robbinsdale Lions Club.

Mathis, Greg. The 106 Group. 2006. Graeser Park – Minnesota History/Architecture Inventory Form. MN State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Project: CSAH 81 Hennepin, Robbinsdale, MN. Conclusion: “Graeser Park has lost any National Register eligibility due to modifications to the site and setting.” October 16, 2006. SHPO Inventory #HE-RBC-025. 800KB PDF, 4 pages.

McDonald, Jeannine, 2020. Graeser Park Preservation Overview, 2020. This summary shows the incredible amount of cleanup done by Jeannine McDonald. As a Robbinsdale Lion and Graeser Park Beehiver, she took many before/after that illustrate the difference she has made for this historic Lilac Way park. 10.4MB PDF, 32 pages.

Sanders Wacker Bergly, Inc., Landscape Architects and Planners. 2003. Graeser Park. Minnesota Historic Roadside Property and Safety Rest Area Program, Historic Structures Architectural Preservation and Restoration, MnDOT. Prep by Gemini Research, Nov 14, 2003. 3.5MB PDF, 38 pages.

St. Louis Park Historical Society. “Graeser Park and Graeser Park South”

Unknown author. 1941. “Stonecutter gives 55 years of experience: Memorial highway is beautified.” Graeser Park, Minneapolis Morning Tribune, December 16, 1941.

Unknown author. 1940. “Graeser Park built on site of elevator remains damaged by fire.” Restore Lilac Way’s Karen Laukkonen had to read this three times, it changes everything she knew about how Graeser Park was built. How much of the park’s stonework was from a damaged grain elevator and how much was from the WPA quarry near the Mendota Bridge on the Minnesota River? Minnesota: Robbinsdale Post, October 31, 1940. Transcribed to easy-to-read web format, with original article at bottom of page.

Vilson, Kelly. 2004. “Eagle Scout’s 1999 Graeser Park service project hurt by roadwork.” Sun Newspaper, June 17, 2004.