Robbinsdale’s Graeser Park Eligible for National Register of Historic Places
A Robbinsdale rest stop steeped in transportation history is up for consideration to join a list of America’s most significant landmarks.
The Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office determined that Graeser Park is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. A final determination is made by the keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C.
Graeser Park, located off Highway 100 at 4400 Lakeland Ave. N., is known for its distinctive beehive fireplace built during the Great Depression.
MnDOT and a group of community volunteers helped restore the stone beehive and the rest of the park, an effort that took years of work.
“Graeser was a hidden gem in plain sight and the community in Robbinsdale never let us forget about it,” said Andrea Weber, program manager for MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Properties program.
Making the register would help the park with future preservation funding.
A Source of Pride
Highway 100 was built in 1930s between what is now County Road 81 in Robbinsdale and 78th Street in Edina. It was “Minnesota’s first freeway” and often referred to as “Lilac Way,” due to the lilacs featured in the landscaping at the time.
Reconstruction of Highway 100 eliminated many of the Great Depression-era waysides. MnDOT stored several historic stone tables in Robbinsdale. Painstaking efforts to restore them began in 2021. It led to the restoration of the entire park, including the beehive fireplace and rock garden, one of only two like it in the state.
MnDOT still owns the park, but it’s working to turn over the property to the city of Robbinsdale.