LOST: Glenwood Avenue Roadside Parking Area

Located in the northest corner of Highway 100 and Glenwood Avenue in Golden Valley, Minnesota, it included picnic tables and a rectangular fireplace with two grilling areas.

Sadly, few photos exist. Since it was removed in 1959, it was not included in MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventory in 1997.

We need info about Lilac Way’s Glenwood Avenue Park. Can you help?

Glenwood Avenue Roadside Parking Area, 1939. Firepit. Photo: MnDOT.
Glenwood Park Facts
  • Razed in 1959
  • Located at NW corner of Highway 100 and Glenwood Avenue in Golden Valley, MN
  • Had a few picnic tables and a rectangular fireplace with two grilling areas
  • Few photos exist
Historical info
  • One of seven original Lilac Way parks
  • Designed by Arthur Nichols, Landscape Architect
  • Built by Works Progress Administration (WPA) as part of one of Minnesota’s largest federal relief projects, 1934-1941
  • Hand-built by unemployed men during Great Depression
  • Significant in the state’s history of transportation
  • Determined ineligible for National Register status

What did the WPA build in Glenwood Avenue Park in 1939?

Glenwood Avenue Roadside Parking Area, 1939.
Stone picnic tables
  • Unknown quantity of sets of stone picnic tables
    • Photos show at least three picnic tables
    • Each set sits on a rectangle of flagstone
  • Tables and benches were built of tan, roughly-cut limestone, most of which was coursed
  • Stones were carefully chosen and cut, some were pure triangles
  • There may have been two picnic table styles
    • Square table top supported by cruciform shape
      • Had four benches
      • The seat of each was supported by two stone block pedestals
    • Rectangular table top, with two stone benches that were each supported by three stone blocks
      • Table tops and seats were simple slabs with rockfaced edges
Glenwood Avenue Roadside Parking Area, 1939. Firepit. Photo: MnDOT.
Low, horizontal fireplace
  • Built of tan, coursed ashlar, rockfaced limestone
  • Unique design, does not match other Lilac Way fireplaces
  • Dark red mortar joints contrast with the light-colored stone
  • Unknown size, rests on circular flagstone pad
  • Two fire openings
  • Razed in 1959 for road construction

Jane Dresser, about her father’s house and Glenwood Avenue Roadside Parking Area

“My father, W. Merton Dresser, built a home at 5200 Glenwood Avenue about 1951… I well remember playing at the tiny park’s structures, the BBQ (fireplace) and the stone tables…The frontage road, N. Lilac Drive, passed a row of tall lilac bushes along the highway, absolutely gorgeous in spring…

The photos (above) are looking W from Highway 100, with Glenwood Avenue on upper left, and Lilac Drive (frontage road) cutting right. On the other side of our home was The Annex, a brick school building connected to Meadowbrook School which was down the small hill from the Annex. I believe The Annex has been a Boy Scout building in recent years.

Our home was moved to Mankato when the land at Glenwood and Highway 100 was taken by the state to construct the access and exits for the expanded highway, about 1959.”

Source: St. Louis Park Historical Society

According to the Golden Valley MN Class of 1966, “By 1940 (Golden Valley had) over 2,000 residents, three times the population of 700 in 1910. Meadowbrook built a new schoolhouse in 1922; a four-room palace at the time, we knew it as the Annex.”

This school was located just west of Glenwood Avenue Roadside Parking Area.

 

Sadly, this park was razed in 1959, so it was not included in MnDOT’s 1964 Wayside Rest Area Inventory or their 1997 Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventory.