Category Archives: Parks

Thomas Lowry Park without Seven Pools fountain?

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:

A missing time capsule, the Warner mansion, and Leonard’s Flowers

At noon on Tuesday, July 21, 1953, a time capsule was ceremoniously placed inside the cornerstone of the new Ministers Life Casualty Union headquarters building at 3100 West Lake Street. When demolition of the Ministers Life building began just over 65 years later, in December 2018, anticipation and curiosity ran high: what documents, treasures, and ephemera did those four sober-sided gentlemen choose for generations yet unborn to know them by?

Apparently we’ll never know, because when the cornerstone was removed from the building, the contractors said, there was no time capsule. How does a metal box encased in concrete just … disappear? Do you have any clues? Here is the story.

Here are two articles from the Minneapolis Star about the laying of the cornerstone: July 20, 1953 and July 22, 1953.

Since we were asking for help in solving the mystery of the missing time capsule, it seemed opportune to ask readers for help with the history of two neighborhood landmarks: the little-remembered Leonard’s Flowers and the long-forgotten E.C. Warner mansion, both not much more than 100 feet from 3100 West Lake.

Spoiler alert (March 1, 2019): the story of Leonard’s Flowers arrived a few weeks later from a most unexpected source and will be published in Hill & Lake Press in the near future. Meanwhile, here are two contemporaneous newspaper accounts from July 22, 1961 and May 31, 1964.

Cedar Lake South Beach in 1896, 1924, and 2018

Cedar Lake South Beach sits at the heart of the Cedar-Isles-Dean neighborhood. In 2018 a major rebuilding of South Beach was completed. It seemed like a good time to cast our thoughts back 122 years, to 1896, when local photographer William Wallof captured this image of his nephew Paul Wallof III standing at the site of today’s South Beach.  Here is the photo and the story.

William Wallof photographed two boys (whose names were not recorded) in a rowboat at South Beach in the 1890s, with the George F. Warner house again in the background. This photo and caption has not (yet) appeared in Hill & Lake PressHere is the photo.

Fast-forward to 1924. The completion of the Cedar Lake-Lake of the Isles channel in November 2013 had lowered the water level in Cedar Lake by an astonishing five feet, creating the broad sandy beach which these boys enjoyed in 1924 and which we still enjoy today. Realtor and local historian Bob Glancy featured this photo and caption in one of his calendars which delighted Hill and Lake residents for many years.  Here is the photo.

The Park and Recreation Board and the Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association hosted a grand reopening of South Beach on August 13, 2018. I tried my hand at creating an ad for the pages of Hill & Lake Press. It took hours! Not too bad, and definitely … colorful.  Here is the ad.



Kenilworth Corridor’s ‘remnant lands’: Keep Public Lands Public!

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.

Parks historian David Smith comes to Cedar-Isles-Dean

When it comes to the history of the Minneapolis park system, Dave Smith has (quite literally) written the book. He knows the highs, the lows, and everything in between, and on February 25, 2018, he came to Cedar-Isles-Dean to talk about “Linking Shrinking Lakes, a Deadly Railroad Crossing, and the Northwest Passage: CIDNA’s Rich Park History.” Here is the story.

Anita Tabb: friend, neighbor, Park Board commissioner

Anita Tabb and her family moved to Minneapolis in January 2004, settling in Lowry Hill. She got involved with her neighborhood association, then with the activist group Park Watch. In January 2010 she took her seat as a Minneapolis Park Board commissioner, her first foray into electoral politics. Six years later, in April 2016, she and four colleagues accomplished an historic “first: a joint City Council-Park Board ordinance providing a new 20-year stream of revenue for park improvements. And in January 2018 she bade us goodbye and moved to Florida.

During her 14 years with us Anita developed close friendships, gave generously of her time and energy, and set an example of selfless and principled public service. The December 17 Hill & Lake Press profiled the friend, neighbor, and Park Board commissioner we all came to cherish. Here is the story.

Several friends, neighbors, colleagues, and fellow elected officials wrote words of appreciation for Anita and her service to the people of Minneapolis. Here is the story.