After a torturous, blundering, contentious planning process to route a commuter train from the southwest suburbs into downtown Minneapolis, it’s finally come to this: on May 13, 2019, the Kenilworth Trail will be closed and earthmovers will lumber in a few days later to scrape the corridor clean.
The battle has gone on for almost 40 years (see the October 1984 Hill & Lake Press front page, below), and it’s been epic. The loss of irreplaceable urban woodlands and critical pollinator habitat will be felt by the hundreds of thousands of people who bike, walk, and savor the Kenilworth Corridor’s rare oasis of open-air beauty. The loss will also be felt by the couple hundred thousand Minneapolis residents who will never get to use the train, even though their taxes are paying for it, because this $2-billion mass-transit behemoth completely bypasses the densely populated south side of the city.
Here is the story from the April 26, 2019, Hill & Lake Press.
Here is an August 2009 article, “Southwest Minneapolis’ Transit Route Selection Process May Rule Out Light Rail to Uptown,” from The Transport Politic website, detailing why the Kenilworth route was “the wrong decision.” The reasons from ten years ago are even more valid today. The highlights are mine.
Here is the front page of the October 1984 Hill & Lake Press, with its prescient headline.
For fifteen years the members of the Isles Ensemble have been bringing marvelous chamber music to the heart of the Hill and Lake neighborhoods on four Sunday afternoons at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church.
The first concert, on September 30, included works by Carolyn Shaw, Brahms, and Schubert. Here is the story.
The second concert, on November 11, included works by Bruch, Haydn, and Shostakovich. Here is the story.
The third concert, on February 24, included the monumental Tchaikovsky piano trio in addition to works by Haydn and Arvo Pärt. Here is the story.
The fourth and final concert, on May 5, was quite a gathering, featuring eight of the 11 Isles Ensemble members. The program included the Brahms Sextet in G Major and pieces by Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. Here is the story.
The Minneapolis Woman’s Club has a storied history. Their beautiful Clubhouse across from Loring Park has received historic designation. But what’s even more important is the Club’s present and future. Here is the story about the Club’s 2019 Gala.
The Club’s 412 Restaurant is open to the public. Go here for hours, menus, and information about the fabulous Sunday brunch.
One of two concept designs for Thomas Lowry Park proposed replacing the nearly century-old Seven Pools fountain, which is at the end of its serviceable life, with a “nature play” area. The Friends of Thomas Lowry Park and the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association are ready to underwrite the entire cost of rehabilitating and restoring Seven Pools — if the donation passes Park Board muster. Here is the story.
Here is the 2018 Thomas Lowry Park Assessment Report on the historic features of Thomas Lowry Park commissioned by the Friends of Thomas Lowry Park and the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association board.
Here is the Friends of Thomas Lowry Park’s website: https://www.thomaslowrypark.org/
True, February 2019 was the snowiest February on record and the fourth-snowiest month since modern record-keeping began in 1885-86. True, shoveling and plowing all that snow is a herculean job. And true, clearing sidewalks on bridges is problematic when the plows throw snow from the road back up onto the sidewalk. But really … four days after the last snowfall and this is what we still have to deal with? Here is the story.
Depends on who you know and whether you’re in the right place at the right time. It kind of slipped out at the February 14 Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association that some residents had received letters from the Southwest Project Office informing them that the SWLRT contractor’s subcontractor would be doing a pre-construction status inspection. When several people who live within a stone’s throw of the construction zone asked why they hadn’t received a letter, an SPO spokesperson said you had to live within 95 feet of the construction zone to be eligible. WHAT?!! So if you live 96 feet from the zone and weren’t at the CIDNA meeting, you’d know nothing about this. And when construction of the 60-foot-deep tunnel causes damage to your home, without that pre-construction inspection you’re out of luck. And the SPO wonders why we don’t trust a word that comes out of their mouths. Here is the story.
How did the four Hill and Lake precincts fare in the turnout sweepstakes? Definitely above average. Here is the story.
The more residents in many parts of Minneapolis learned about the massive upzoning throughout the entire city contained in the new comprehensive plan, the stronger their pushback became. The group Minneapolis for Everyone led the way in mobilizing opposition to the plan’s overreach. City planners, deluged with 10,000 written comments, hired a public relations firm to help deal with the fallout. Here is the story.
On September 18 Lisa McDonald, former City Council member and one of the founders of Minneapolis for Everyone, held a press conference to highlight parts of the plan that are indefensible and ill-advised and to call for a restart to the entire process. Here are McDonald’s press conference remarks.
We stared in disbelief at the Minneapolis 2040 Built Form map, meant to direct development throughout the city: it called for a Corridor 4 district, meaning four-story apartment buildings, on the county-owned land along the east side of the Kenilworth Corridor. Unintentional error? Or a trial balloon from planners intent on densifying the entire city? Either way, Hill and Lake residents pushed back — hard. This is the story.
Thanks to funding from the historic 20-year Neighborhood Parks Plan, approved unanimously in April by the Park Board of Commissioners and the City Council, improvement plans are being developed for all 40-plus park properties in southwest Minneapolis. Here is the story.