Tag Archives: Edina MN

Not realizing why old buildings and streets were laid out the way they were, a Magical History Tour changed all that.

A magical fall bike ride and history tour of the south Twin Cities Metro

It is amazing the things you don’t know about an area you have been pedaling around by bike, for many years. Though you may have wonder why an old building or a street is designed the way it is? But it’s not a top priority and you put off finding the answer. That all changed when I had the opportunity to tag along on a special ride of the Hiawatha Bicycling Club.

The ride called the Magical History Tour was lead and narrated by Joe Metzler, one of the club’s many ride leaders. Joe is an architect and enjoys the history of the building landscape in the Twin Cities. On this 24-mile tour, Joe took us through neighborhoods in southwest Minneapolis, St. Louis Park and Edina.

Gather for the Magical History Tour in south Minneapolis.

Gather for the Magical History Tour in south Minneapolis.

A History Tour of south Minneapolis

With close to 20 riders on the tour, Joe stopped periodically to share some unique facts about the buildings, streets, and structures along the way.

Joe,, leading the group head north to the tours fist stop.

Joe, leading the group heads north to the tour’s first stop.

Leaving from the Lyndale Farmstead Park, in south Minneapolis, MN, our first stop was at a porcelain-steel prefabricated building used to sell hamburgers. From there the history tour meandered a few blocks further north, straddling Lake Street to view a 1907 needle manufacturing site, purchased by a greeting card company that renamed the building. Further along, the tour stopped at a fountain on the north end of Lake of the Isle. Originally built to honor fallen horses of World War I, it’s still a mainstay attraction to the parkway. After visiting a few homes, associated with Frank Lloyd Wright, Joe lead us into St. Louis Park.

The first stop on the tour was White Castle #8

On the history tours first stop the group learned more about White Castle #8.

On the history tours first, stop the group discovered several interesting facts on White Castle #8.

Located at 3252 Lyndale Avenue. in south Minneapolis, the porcelain-steel prefabricated building was modeled after the Chicago Water Tower. In the picture above notice the octagonal buttresses, crenelated towers, and parapet walls. The structure was designed to be dismantled and then reassembled when needed. However, after moving it the 3rd time to its current location it was moved in one piece. See more on the history of this site here.

Here Joe share information on the many uses of the Buzza Building.

Here Joe shares information on the many uses of the Buzza Building.

The Buzza Co. Building at 1006 W. Lake St, Minneapolis

This building was purchased and renamed after the second-largest greeting card company in the early 20’s country. After the business folded around 1942. Then the building was been used by the War Department; followed by Honeywell, the veteran’s administration and later by the Minnesota military district, dubbing it “Little Pentagon”.  See more on the history of this site here.

After stopping at the Purcell-Cutts House you will want to come back for one of the scheduled tours.

After stopping at the Purcell-Cutts House you will want to come back for one of the scheduled tours.

Purcell-Cutts House (Lake Place) at 2328 Lake Pl, Minneapolis

Considered by many a Prairie Style masterpiece the design of this 1913 residents was intended as a house for “modern American family life”. The home is now owned by the Minneapolis Institute of Art and is open for tours the second weekend of each month. See more on the history of this home here.

The Peavey Fountain, a gift to Minneapolis for watering horses is a gem to the Lake of the Isles Parkway.

The Peavey Fountain, a gift to Minneapolis for watering horses is a gem to the Lake of the Isles Parkway.

Peavey Fountain on Kenwood Pkwy & W. Lake of the Isles Pkwy

This was a gift to the city in 1891, from Frank Peavey a local grain broker. The fountain was to provide drinking water for horses. After World War I the fountain was rededicated to honor horses from the 151st Field Artillery, killed in action. See more on the history of this fountain here.

A pictuques setting for a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home.

A picturesque setting for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home.

Neils House at 2801 Burnham Blvd, Minneapolis

One of only two homes in Minneapolis designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This home, built-in 1950-51, was the only house Wright designed that used marble wall cladding, or “culls” leftover from other building projects. See more on the history of this home here.

Tour riders found a charming neighborhood round-a-bout on their way to the next stop.

Tour riders found a charming neighborhood round-a-bout on their way to the next stop.

The history tour moves on to St. Louis Park

Pedaling to the southwest, into St. Louis Park the group of inquiring minds used the south spur of the Cedar Lakes Trail to stop at a park. Here they viewed the beehive barbeque and a tower in the background dubbed “Peavey’s Folly.” The next stop on the ride was to McDonalds #93. This restaurant location St. Louis Park was the second to open in Minnesota, in 1958.

More info on the tour

In Lilac Park the group viewed one of the remaining Beehive Grills here.

In Lilac Park the group viewed one of the remaining Beehive Grills here.

Lilac Park (originally part of Roadside Park) at SE corner of Hwy 7 & Hwy 100, St. Louis Park

The last of five parks along “Lilac Way” (now Hwy. 100), these parks were originally built in the late 30s by WPA artesian stonemasons. The fireplace here, along with another located in Graeser Park, are the only two remaining beehive fireplaces in the nation. Find out more here.

Riding out of Lilac Park back to The Cedar Lakes Trail.

Riding out of Lilac Park back to the Cedar Lakes Trail.

Peavey-Huglin Experimental Concrete Grain Elevator east of Lilac Park of Trail

Due to skyrocketing insurance rates from the constant threat of wooden grain terminals catching on fire, Frank Peavey had the Peavey-Haglin Experimental Concrete Grain Elevator built-in 1899. The 122-foot structure was dubbed “Peavey’s Folly,” by skeptics who expected it to crack and explode. Now a National Historic Landmark it is on the grounds of the Nordic Ware company, just east of Lilac Park. Find out more here.

McDonalds #93 at 6320 W. Lake St, St. Louis Park

In 1958, this location was Minnesota’s second, and the world’s 93rd McDonald’s ever built. At the Gala Grand Opening, there was a line that stretched more than a city block long, waiting for hours to be served. You can find more info here.

Having fun on the HBC bike tour

Having fun on the Hiawatha Bike Club bike tour.

The history tour now rolls into Edina

Now pedaling along Minnehaha Creek the group discovers how Edina got its name when stopping at a mill site that once operated here. Another interesting stop was the Grange Hall. Both the building and organization were established to improve life on the rural farm and a place to socialize. This practice was helpful for the women at the time who had little opportunity to interact with others outside of the farm. After visiting a few more historic buildings in Edina the ride now turned back to the northeast, following the old Minneapolis Streetcar (right of way) that once stretched all the way out to Lake Minnetonka.

More info and stops along the tour

The stopped here at the Grange House.

The stopped here at the Grange House.

Grange Hall at 4918 Eden Ave, Edina

Even before Edina incorporated as a village the Grange Hall served the area with many historic events, including the final decision to name Edina. This is one of the few remaining Grange Hall structures standing in the State of Minnesota today. You can find more info here.

Cahill School at 4924 Eden Ave, in Frank Tupa Park, Edina

One of Edina’s oldest surviving buildings, built-in 1864, the Cahill School continued to serve children of all ages until the 1950s. It is one of the few remaining one-room schoolhouses in the State of Minnesota. Find more info here.

Stop at the park where remnants of the old Edina Mill can be seen.

Stop at the park where remnants of the old Edina Mill can be seen.

Edina Mill at West 50th St and Browndale Ave, Edina

The Edina Mill was one of the first gristmills to be built on the Minnehaha Creek between 1855 and 1876. The mill and the tiny settlement that sprang up around it was originally named Waterville Mills. After being sold in 1869, the new owner gave the mill and the city its present name. Edina was a nickname the new owner had for Edinburgh, Scotland, that appeared in a poem written by Scottish poet Robert Burns. Find more info here about the mill and how Edina progressed.

The oldest house standing in Edina, The Grimes House is a rare, well-preserved example of cottage architecture from the early settlement period.

The Grimes House is the oldest house standing in Edina.

Grimes House at 4200 W 44th St, Edina

Built-in 1869, it is the oldest house standing in Edina. Stopping by and viewing it from the street, it is a rare, well-preserved example of cottage architecture from the early settlement period. The Grimes who settled here also established a 16-acre ‘Lake Calhoun Nursery, which is the present-day neighborhood of Morningside. Find more info here.

The tour circles back into Minneapolis on the old streetcar route

If you look carefully, while out in front of the Grimes house, you can see traces of the old streetcar right-of-way that provided public transportation, back and forth, from Minneapolis, through Edina and out to Lake Minnetonka.

Streetcar Right of Way through the Linden Hills Neighborhood, Minneapolis

Through this neighborhood, you can still see remnants of the old streetcar right-of-way line. The Linden Hills neighborhood was at the end of the line for commuters coming from the inner city of Minneapolis. Then in 1905, the line was extended out to Lake Minnetonka, making Linden Hills a transfer stop between the two rail lines. See more info here.

A brief stop in an area once covered by cottage homes.

A brief stop in an area once covered by cottage homes.

Chadwick Cottages at 2617 W 40th St, Minneapolis

The two cottages here were originally built by Loren Chadwick in 1902 and combined in 1972 as a single dwelling. The individual cottages were typical of the size home being built in the early 1900s as a resort area. This is the reason the neighborhood was known as “Cottage City”. See more info here.

Here stopping on this bridge, where the streetcar tracks run below, the group had a chance to see a modern day trolley pass by.

Stopping on this bridge, where the streetcar tracks run below modern-day trolley passes by.

Interlachen Bridge at William Berry Dr. over streetcar tracks, Minneapolis

The oldest reinforced concrete bridge in Minnesota covered by a stone veneer. The bridge was built using a system patented in 1894 by a Swiss engineer. Steps on the west side lead down to a streetcar stop known as the Cottage City stop.

Pond Cabin Site/Lyndale Hotel Site at 3450 Irving Ave S, Minneapolis

Overlooking the eastern shore of Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) the Pond brothers built a cabin when they came to Minnesota to convert Native Americans from the Dakota tribe to Christianity. Then on this same site in 1877, the Lake Calhoun Pavilion (later named the Lyndale Hotel) was built with the streetcar line passing by. In the ECCO neighborhood in the Minneapolis, the original streetcar alignment crossed 36th St. on an overpass and continued along the top of the bluff, passing the Lyndale Hotel and overlooking the lake on what is now a walking path. The resort was a popular stop offering guests a dancing hall, billiards and a wide variety of recreational activities centered around the lake. Find more information here.

Even with cool temps in the mid-forties everyone was smiling as they returned to the starting point.

Even with cool temps in the mid-forties, everyone was smiling as they returned to the starting point.

This brought this Magical History Tour back to the park where the ride began. Joe says, he has a couple more Magic History Tours in mind that he plans on leading, through the club next year. If you would like to go on one of his rides, check the Hiawatha Bicycle Club ride calendar periodically.

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Today's bike pic, we found this biker couple, in the HFB archives, riding the Tour D' Amico 4th of July bike ride in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Bike Pic Feb 11, fond memories riding into the Monday morning sun

Today’s bike pic, we found this biker couple, in the HFB archives, riding the Tour D’ Amico 4th of July bike ride.

And what better way to continue your fun, finding your #NextBikeAdventure. See all the great ideas and bike destinations in the 2019 Bike/Hike Winter Planning Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing today’s bike pic

Now rolling into our 12th year as a bike media, our goal is to encourage more people to have fun. In this expanded e-guide issue, we have added more free bike maps to review for planning your next adventure.

As we continue to showcase more destinations you can explore, we are all about capturing fun photos to capture those memories. Hopefully, some worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post at HaveFunBiking (HFB)? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Please include a brief caption (for each), who is in the photo (if you know?) and where you shot the picture. Your photo submitted should be at a medium resolution or more, for consideration. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit at HaveFunBiking and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure. Here you will find all the information you will need when visiting one of our Community Map Partners, accessible on your mobile-friendly devices.

Watch for our spring print guides in April.

As 30-Days of Biking progresses in April, the spring 2019 Bike/Hike Guides will be available in both print and digital format. So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure.

Please share all our pic’s with your friends and us on our Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to smile; we may be around the next corner with our HFB camera, ready to capture you for the next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable New Year!

Today's bike pic, we found these Edina biker chicks, in the HFB archives, riding the Tour D' Amico 4the of July bike ride?

Bike Pic Feb 4, fond memories riding into the Monday morning sun

Today’s bike pic, we found these Edina biker chicks, in the HFB archives, riding the Tour D’ Amico 4the of July bike ride?

And what better way to continue your fun, finding your #NextBikeAdventure. See all the great ideas and bike destinations in the 2019 Bike/Hike Winter Planning Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing today’s bike pic

Now rolling into our 12th year as a bike media, our goal is to encourage more people to have fun. In this expanded e-guide issue, we have added more free bike maps to review for planning your next adventure.

As we continue to showcase more destinations you can explore, we are all about capturing fun photos to capture those memories. Hopefully, some worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post at HaveFunBiking (HFB)? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Please include a brief caption (for each), who is in the photo (if you know?) and where you shot the picture. Your photo submitted should be at a medium resolution or more, for consideration. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit at HaveFunBiking and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure. Here you will find all the information you will need when visiting one of our Community Map Partners, accessible on your mobile-friendly devices.

Watch for our spring print guides in April.

As 30-Days of Biking progresses in April, the spring 2019 Bike/Hike Guides will be available in both print and digital format. So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure.

Please share all our pic’s with your friends and us on our Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to smile; we may be around the next corner with our HFB camera, ready to capture you for the next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable New Year!

Another bike pic to remember! Scanning the photo archives this shot was taken this last summer on the new Nine-Mile Creek Trail in Edina, MN.

Bike Pic Dec 8, more fun summer bike/hike memories

Another bike pic to remember! Scanning the photo archives this shot was taken this last summer on the new Nine-Mile Creek Trail in Edina, MN.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our Bike Pic  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun visiting we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), or who is in the photo (if you know?) and the location where it was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or more significant, for consideration. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile-friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with an HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our upcoming ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

Fun riding through the Edina Promenade connecting the Nine Mile Creek Trail east and west.

Edina makes the perfect beginning on the new Nine Mile Creek Trail

By Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

From the Promenade in Edina, MN, the new paved trail system along the Nine Mile Creek watershed is fun to explore. Pedaling west, you can safely ride over two freeways and connect to another regional trail hub in Hopkins. Along the way, this new corridor utilizes several wooden trail structures to straddle the bed of the creek giving you a birds-eye view of nature. Pedaling east out of Edina the trail takes you to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Either way, it is a fun place to ride for the entire family. You can also connect to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes trail system for a loop of the south metro.

Riding through Edina on the wide wooden trail structure.

Rider and walkers alike enjoy the wide wooden trail structures that follow Nine Mile Creek through Edina.

This 15 mile, Three Rivers Park District Trail is a 10-foot wide asphalt path with several wooden bridge sections that welcome walkers, bikers and others using non-motorized transports.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail west from Edina

Venturing west out of Edina there are so many places to explore with this new section of the trail over the Nine Mile Creek watershed. With fall and winter soon approaching get your bike, skis or walking shoes and head outside! After leaving the Edina Promenade, the trail wanders through Fred Richards Park.

Riding through Fred Richards Park, in Edina, MN.

Riding through Fred Richards Park, a part of Nine Mile Creek, in Edina, MN.

Once a par 3 golf course this park is now an urban green space welcoming you to the next several miles of your trail adventure. At the trail bridge over Highway 100, the actual Nine Mile Creek comes into view. Now the trail meanders above its namesake creek, on the elevated wood bridges above the wetlands and woodlands, in Edina. Along the way, you may want to stop and enjoy the wildlife that makes their home here along the creek. From Edina to Hopkins, by trail, it’s about eight miles with 1.7 miles of wooden boardwalk structures along the way.

Rolling through Edina on Nine Mile Creek Trail is fun to explore. If it’s an out and back bike adventure, add another mile on the Cedar Lakes Trail (east) for a treat. Stopping at the Hopkins Depot for an ice cream cone or cup of coffee is the perfect treat before heading back.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail east of Edina

Sometimes, the journey is the reward, that is definitely the case here. It is approximately seven miles from the Edina Promenade to the Minnesota River. On this section, the trail passes through the city Richfield and connects to the north/south Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail.

The trail makes it easy to stay off busy streets.

The trail makes it easy to stay off busy streets.

Just north of the Mall of America, both cyclists and pedestrians can safely cross the 494 Freeway and follow the trail south, through Bloomington, to the Minnesota River. To the north, the Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail users can easily reach Lake Nokomis and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway in Minneapolis. Other points of interest in this area include the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Fort Snelling State Park.

Map, parking, bike rental and trail access

For your next bike adventure here use the Explore Edina Bike/Hike Map, featuring the new Nine-Mile Creek Trail. On this map, you will notice several trail access points. A favorite gathering point for me is parking near one of the retail centers, north or south of the Edina Promenade. Here you will find ample parking and several restaurant options for that appetite you are sure to acquire on your ride. For a place to stay when visiting Edina check their lodging options here.

Need a rental bike?

Edina residents and visitors now have access to a new, dockless bike service. You simply download the Lime app. All rental bikes are GPS and 3G-enabled, making it simple for riders to find, unlock and pick up a nearby bicycle using the iOS or Android smartphone app.

The NineMile Creek Trail through Edina works well for all ages.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail through Edina works well for all ages.

With many bike-friendly street routes, Edina is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.

Strap on your biking helmet for this year's blarney bicycle ride day

Bike Pic March 17, A perfect day for a blarney bicycle ride

With beautiful spring like weather in the forecast strap on your biking helmet for this year’s blarney bicycle ride with friends or on your own. Here in this pic, we are sure this biker dude is ready for a cold one after a day on his bike. Maybe its time to start planning your #NextBikeAdventure?

What better way to continue enjoying all the fun in 2018. View all the bike travel ideas in the latest HaveFunBiking Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends at one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing our ‘blarney bicycle ride,’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!