A Lilac Way park, restored.

Thoughtfully saved, Lilac Park is again part of history.

Renovated in 2009, it celebrated Lilac Way’s 70th Anniversary.

Visit the beehive at Highway 100 and County Road 25/Highway 7, just west of Nordic Ware in St. Louis Park, MN. It’s right off the Southwest Regional Trail.

BEFORE

AFTER

These partners funded this $225,000 historical project:

City of St. Louis Park
Nordic Ware
St. Louis Park Historical Society
Donations to the ‘Save the Beehive’ Fund

Scroll to see the restoration process

How it was restored

Lilac Park required true artisans to bring it back to life. It took two years of planning, a year of restoration and a team of dedicated workers.

Formerly known as St. Louis Park Roadside Park, it is located at the southeast corner of Highway 100 & Highway 7/County Road 25 in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

The beehive fireplace was moved from the original Lilac Park. After restoration, this park’s name was changed to Lilac Park, to honor a lost park.

When completed, the team had

  • moved beehive fireplace and limestone picnic table from original Lilac Park at Highway 100 and Minnetonka Boulevard on Oct. 22, 2008, to this park for restoration
  • restored historically significant structures
  • added new features
  • installed new trail connection to Southwest Regional Trail
  • replaced landscaping, inspired by the original 1939 plan
  • cleaned and restored limestone tables
  • built limestone patterned cement concrete bases for restored tables
  • resurfaced circular internal biking/walking trail (formerly a roadway)
  • implemented interpretive park and trail signage, designed by Laukkonen Design
  • provided a lasting legacy honoring MnDOT and the Minnesotans in the WPA

This renovation was made possible with the dedication of these generous partners:

The true heroes behind this project in 2009:

  • RICK BIRNO, Park Superintendent, wrote the proposal, got funding from the City, worked closely with MnDOT, hired the contractors, and planned the Grand Opening
  • JIM VAUGHAN, City Staff – Parks and Recreation
  • KATHY JOHNSON, JEANNE ANDERSEN, BOB JORVIG, BOB and BARBARA REISS of the St. Louis Park Historical Society
  • BRUCE CORNWALL, Resident/Park Commissioner
  • BETTE DANIELSON, Nordic Ware
  • MIKE McGARVEY, Resident/Landscape Architect
  • CHRIS REISS, Resident/Rotary Club
  • ELIZABETH WALTON, Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • ADAM FULTON, MEG McMONIGAL and SEAN WALTHER, City Staff – Planning
  • BILL THURSTON AND CITY STAFF – Engineering

Scroll to see the Grand Opening event on July 13, 2009.

Jim Vaughan, St. Louis Park’s Natural Resources Coordinator

“We added many Common Purple lilacs along the Park’s west edge to mimic the original plan. We also added many diverse trees that were not present in the late 1930s to add more interest and ecosystems for local folks and fauna.

Many mature Green ash trees on site were probably planted 40-50 years ago. We attempted to preserve them during reconstruction, for the benefits the trees provide to the site. New landscaping will be implemented along this corridor in Fall 2018. Many lilacs will be planted along with many other, mostly native, trees and shrubs.”

More resources

Karen at Laukkonen Design designed the graphics for the large system kiosk and smaller trail signage for Lilac Park.

Watch the video of moving the historical beehive fireplace from the original Lilac Way park at Minnetonka Boulevard to Lilac Park on Highway 7.