Lilac Way was an historical section of Highway 100 in Minneapolis.

Only 12.5 miles long, it was built in 1934-41 as one of FDR’s Works Project Administration (WPA) projects during the Great Depression.

It had seven roadside parks with beehive-shaped fireplaces, stone picnic tables and rustic landscaping.

Highway 100 played a key role in the post-World War II economic development and growth pattern of the western Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Today, only two parks remain—Lilac Park has been restored, but Graeser Park needs to be saved.

The MN Department of Highways built a 66-mile ‘Belt Line’ loop around the Twin Cities, completed in 1950.

Lilac Way was the ‘Showcase’ section of the Belt Line.

This 12.5 mile stretch of Highway 100 was lined with thousands of lilac bushes and seven roadside parks.

It’s just 12.5 miles of Highway 100 between Highway 52 (now 81) in Robbinsdale, and Highway 5 (78th Street) in Edina. Parts of the Belt Line were later developed into 494/694.

The story behind Lilac Way

The seven Roadside Parks
Built during the Great Depression
Employing men on Lilac Way