Big thanks to CCX Media for documenting Graeser Park’s historic Lilac Way restoration project.

They have followed MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Properties restoration project and volunteer efforts to save the park since 2018.

Thanks to Kristi Gibson at the Robbinsdale Historical Society for asking CCX to keep the community updated on Graeser Park.

Graeser Park was constructed by and is still owned by MnDOT (and the people of Minnesota) and managed under their Historic Roadside Property Program. MnDOT will convey the park to the City of Robbinsdale, date TBD.

Graeser Park Preservation Celebration, July 6, 2023

This one hour video showcases the completion of MnDOT’s recent major preservation and restoration project. Andrea Weber, Manager of MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Properties Program, spoke of the park’s history and its importance in the community. It features a concert by the Robbinsdale City Band under the direction of Chad Green. Organized by Kristi Gibson, and sponsored by the Robbinsdale Historical Society and the Robbinsdale Lions Club. Thanks to everyone who attended and volunteered for this historic Lilac Way park.

After 15-Year Effort, Graeser Park Restoration Officially Complete

June 28, 2023. After 15 years and countless hours of work, the Graeser Park restoration project in Robbinsdale is officially complete. A sign installation marked the completion on Wednesday. Graeser Park features historic beehive fireplaces, now fully restored, that were originally installed during a 1939 WPA project. The park celebrates a rest stop along Highway 100, part of historic Lilac Way. Delane Cleveland, reporting.

Years-long Graeser Park Restoration Nearly Complete

May 26, 2023. A project that started several years ago off Highway 100 in Robbinsdale is now nearly complete. Minnesota Department of Transportation construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the massive restoration project. Some of the renovations include 11 new picnic tables, new sidewalks that allow for easier access and a fully restored beehive fireplace. The fireplace was built in 1941 and is one of only two in existence.

Beehive Fireplace Restoration Complete at Graeser Park

June 3, 2022. Restoration is now complete on a piece of highway history at Graeser Park. The park’s signature feature included a beehive fireplace – the only one of its kind still standing where it was originally built. Preservation work began two years ago. The iconic beehive is now fully restored.

Graeser Park Preservation Construction Returns

May 6, 2022. Construction crews started work this week on preservation and repair work at Graeser Park in Robbinsdale. MnDOT started work on preservation in 2020. This year’s project includes completing 10 picnic tables, beehive restoration and repairing erosion on the east end of the rock garden. Work is supposed to be finished in June.

Crews Prep at Robbinsdale’s Graeser Park for Spring

Robbinsdale’s Graeser Park Could be Closer to City Ownership

Aug 8, 2019. Volunteers continue to make progress in restoring Robbinsdale’s Graeser Park. Members of the Robbinsdale Lions Club call the restoration effort a “marathon, not a sprint.” It’s been going on for about 10 years now, with volunteers slowly revealing what apathy and time have hidden. The park was built in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration project.

“The hope is to really bring it back to where people can come back down here and have picnics. I mean that is just the absolute universal hope,” said Jeannine McDonald with the Robbinsdale Lions Club. “There’s a lot of people that want to see the water restored back in the pond and see that that’s running. But I really want to see picnic tables back down here and I really want to see people being able to come back down and enjoy a roadside rest.”

Graeser Park contains a rare beehive fireplace.

Artwork Raises Money for Graeser Park Restoration

April 12, 2019. There’s a new push to raise money for the restoration of Graeser Park along Highway 100 in Robbinsdale. Volunteers have been working to unearth and restore Graeser Park, which was built in the 1930s off Highway 100. A group of robust volunteers wants to refurbish the remaining Lilac Way parks. Artist Lili Payne, who will be commissioned to paint a new mural in downtown Robbinsdale this year, created artwork that will raise money for the restoration. The posters are selling for $10 at the Robbinsdale Historical Society.

“Meet Me at the Beehive” Events Shine Spotlight on Graeser Park

Picnic tabletops and bases saved from MnDOT’s ‘Beehive Graveyard’ were used to rebuild picnic tables in Graeser Park.

Graeser Park, June 28, 2023. MnDOT's restoration complete, picnic area. Stone table.
Graeser Park, July 18, 2022. Three of 11 picnic tables, rebuilt in original locations using stone salvaged from Lilac Way parks.

Graeser Park’s 11 stone tables were rebuilt from salvaged Lilac Way stone.

When MnDOT dismantled three Lilac Way parks for road construction, they saved the fragments, tabletops and bases in the Beehive Graveyard.

In 2008, the City of Robbinsdale had the foresight to collect that salvaged stonework and keep them in storage for safekeeping. Thirteen years later, they were used to rebuild 11 tables in Graeser Park. In 2021, MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Property Program used that stone to put picnic tables back in the park for the first time since 2000.


Follow Graeser Park Restoration & Preservation nonprofit group on Facebook.