It all started with a show on Public TV.

In July of 2007, I watched a half-hour documentary on Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) called Highway 100: Lilac Way.

Mn/DOT and TPT created a documentary film to record the highway’s historic artifacts before they were lost to road construction. Watch the video here.

It told the story of the lilacs sold by the Golden Valley Garden Club to raise money, the Minnesota Highway Department (now Mn/DOT), the Federal government and their collaborative effort to create a place that was more than just a highway. It was a destination. And it had disappeared.

I was inspired to recreate that effort to sell lilacs and started designing the Campaign poster that very night. All of the Campaign graphics were inspired by WPA posters from the 1930s.

On November 19th, 2007, Laukkonen Design presented a 26-page Campaign to Restore Lilac Way proposal to a very receptive group at Mn/DOT.

Mn/DOT, and many others, encouraged me to keep going.

 
In a Mn/DOT study, historian Barbara J. Henning noted that the landscaping of Highway 100 was extraordinary in scope.

There were almost 2500 Persian lilacs and more than 5400 common lilacs.