Beehive Fireplaces

Designed for a slower time, people loaded their family into the car and drove to Lilac Way to roast a hot dog and picnic in the roadside parks.

There are only two beehive fireplaces left in the U.S. Learn more

Beehive Design 1937

These quirky 1939 beehive-shaped fireplaces were designed by MnDOT. Nicknamed ‘beehives’ because they look like skeps—baskets placed open-end-down—used to house bees for more than 2,000 years.

Graeser Park’s Beehive Fireplace

As part of an extensive 2021-23 restoration project, MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Properties Program restored Graeser Park’s rare beehive fireplace. One of only two remaining beehive fireplaces and the only one it its original location, it is now a community treasure. Community efforts are growing to restore this rare piece of Lilac Way history. All work by MnDOT was designed and constructed according to Secretary of Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Restored Lilac Park’s beehive fireplace.

Follow this rare beehive from today’s restored park through the move from Minnetonka Boulevard to Highway 7. Now saved from demolition, it is a treasure.

Moving the beehive fireplace, 2008

In 2008, Otting Movers carefully moved the beehive fireplace in the original Lilac Park on Minnetonka Boulevard in St Louis Park. Safely relocated to another Lilac Way park on Highway 7, it has been lovingly restored. Its new park was renamed Lilac Park to honor the original location, which was lost to road construction.

MnDOT’s ‘Beehive Graveyard’

In 1997, MnDOT inventoried Lilac Way parks before a construction project. Salvaged parks materials were moved to their parking lot. This pile of 1939 Lilac Way picnic tables and beehive materials became known as the ‘Beehive Graveyard.’ We toured that graveyard in 2008, stunned to see pieces of picnic tables, beehive fireplaces, and walls in neat piles. These materials are now in storage in Robbinsdale, awaiting restoration of Graeser Park.