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

  • 2008. Moving beehive fireplace from Mtka. Blvd to Hwy 7.

  • 2008. Moving beehive fireplace from Mtka. Blvd to Hwy 7.

  • 2008. Moving beehive fireplace from Mtka. Blvd to Hwy 7.

  • 2008. Moving beehive fireplace from Mtka. Blvd to Hwy 7.

  • 2008. Moving beehive fireplace from Mtka. Blvd to Hwy 7.

  • 2008. Moving beehive fireplace from Mtka. Blvd to Hwy 7.

  • 2008. Moving beehive fireplace from Mtka. Blvd to Hwy 7.

  • 2008. Beehive fireplace next to restored table in new Lilac Park.

  • 2008. Beehive fireplace next to a restored Lilac Way picnic table in the new Lilac Park.

  • 2008. Beehive restored on new base.

  • 2008. Beehive restored on new base.

  • 2008. Beehive restored on new base.

  • 2008. Beehive restored on new base with signage by Laukkonen Design in background.

  • 2008. Beehive restored on new base.

  • 2008. Beehive done, restored.

  • 2008. Restoring a Lilac Way picnic table in the new Lilac Park.

  • 2008. Restoring a Lilac Way picnic table in the new Lilac Park.

  • 2008. Restoring a Lilac Way picnic table in the new Lilac Park.

  • 2008. A restored Lilac Way picnic table in the new Lilac Park.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Picnic table after restoration.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Picnic table after restoration.

  • 2008. Preparing for pathway.

  • 2008. Preparing for sod.

  • 2008. Council ring, restored.

  • 2008. Council ring, restored.

  • 2008. Building the connection to Southwest Regional Trail.

  • LilacPark_restored-IMG_3554

  • 2008. Building the connection to Southwest Regional Trail.

  • 2008. Building the connection to Southwest Regional Trail.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. New wall leading into park from Southwest Regional Trail.

  • 2008. Platform for bike racks.

  • 2008. Bike racks.

  • 2008. Bike racks.

  • 2008. New landscaping.

  • 2008. Bike racks.

  • 2008. New landscaping.

  • 2008. Concrete platform.

  • 2008. Refuse and portable toilet areas.

  • 2008. Entrance paths into park, before paving.

  • 2008. Entrance paths into park, before paving.

  • 2008. Entrance to Lilac Park from Southwest Regional Trail.

  • 2008. Entrance to Lilac Park from Southwest Regional Trail.

  • 2008. Landscaping on nearby Nordic Ware property.

  • 2008. View from Southwest Regional Trail as entering park.

  • 2008. Circle path around Lilac Park, originally used by cars.

  • 2008. Circle path around Lilac Park, originally used by cars.

  • 2008. Circle path around Lilac Park, originally used by cars.

  • 2008. Lilac Park signage, by Karen, Laukkonen Design.

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.

  • The beehive fireplace, now restored in Lilac Park in St. Louis Park, MN on Hwy 100 and 7, of the Southwest Regional Trail.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. The logo is etched on the beehive glass panels.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Restored beehive fireplace, handbuilt by the WPA in 1939.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Park signage by Karen Laukkonen, Laukkonen Design.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Restored beehive fireplace, handbuilt by the WPA in 1939.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Committee recognition.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Grand Opening crowd, July 13.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Mayor Jeff Jacobs dedicates the new park.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Mayor Jeff Jacobs dedicates the new park.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Mayor Jeff Jacobs dedicates the new park.

  • LilacParkOpening_3981

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Mayor Jacobs, introducing Nordic Ware’s Dave Dalquist and Bette Danielson and a beehive bundt pan.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Mayor Jacobs with the Nordic Ware beehive bundt pan.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Kare11 was there to do a story about the Park opening. Photo by Joe Mears.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Official ribbon cutting, Mayor Jacobs and Bob Jorvig, VP of SLP Hist. Soc. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Mad rush to capture the ribbon cutting.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Tom Harmenning, City Manager (right).

  • LilacParkOpening_3973

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. The SLP Historical Society Board.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Barb Jorvig, ?, Barb Reiss, Del Strandberg, and ?.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Grand Opening, July 13.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. ?, ?, Rick Birno, ? and Cindy Walsh. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Mayor Jacobs enjoying a laugh with Lilac Park visitors.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Bob Jorvig, John and Diane Olson, SLP Historical Society. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Nancy Stroth, City Clerk and ?. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Many people biked to the event. via the Southwest Regional Trail. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Love the bike.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Mayor Jeff Jacobs with park visitors. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Dominic Zahner planted lilacs as a Boy Scout project. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Dominic Zahner planted lilacs as a Boy Scout project. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Handing out cold pop on a summer day.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. The restored Council Ring.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Grand Opening, July 13.

  • Sheila Berger and Elna Laukkonen, sharing a laugh.

    The new Lilac Park was lovingly restored by the City of St. Louis Park and the SLP Historical Wayside Park/Beehive Restoration Project Committee

  • Setting up the display.

    The new Lilac Park was lovingly restored by the City of St. Louis Park and the SLP Historical Wayside Park/Beehive Restoration Project Committee

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Nora and Declan Franey.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Getting ready for hot dogs and chips behind the council ring.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Brent and Vivian Hoppe eating hot dogs and chips on the restored council circle.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Grilled hot dogs and chips were a big hit. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. In line for grilled hot dogs and chips. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. The Campaign to Restore Lilac Way (now retired) had a booth at the opening.

  • 2008. Lilac Park signage, by Karen, Laukkonen Design.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Signage design by Karen, Laukkonen Design.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Park signage by Karen Laukkonen, Laukkonen Design.

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Nordic Ware provided beehive cakes. Photo: Manny Camilon

  • Lilac Park, restored, 2009. Park signage by Karen Laukkonen, Laukkonen Design.

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.