I love the current "Edina on the Map" exhibit because it has helped spotlight neighborhoods that have been "too new" for the historical record to take much notice. Highlands, with its first addition offered for sale in 1948, was still being developed in 1950s and 1960s. Compared with Morningside, once a separate village and platted more than 100 years ago, Highlands seems to have a relatively short and uneventful history.
Drive through Highlands today, and you'll see historic changes taking place. Many of the original ramblers have been torn down and replaced by new construction. That's why I'm grateful to former and current residents who have donated artifacts that document the period in Edina history that will soon be lost to redevelopment.
After seeing the original real estate brochure for Highlands in our exhibit, Paul Trautman and his sister Jean offered to send photos of their family home at 5245 Lochloy built in 1952 by their parents Lucius and Jean Trautman. The home is a perfect example of what the brochure touted as the "trend home" for modern living.
The house was designed by James H. Speckmann, a Minnesota proponent of California Modernism, a design style with an "open ground-level floor plan, big floor-to-ceiling windows, and wide roof overhangs. All of that is meant to bring the outdoors in."
The Trautman home, with a new owner, still stands with the exterior design intact. The surrounding area is more developed, however, than when the Trautmans first moved here in 1952. Paul remembers the house in the background of the photo below as being "a short walk of a steep hill ... it is probably a three-mile drive to that house. The Watson lived there and they eventually took ownership of Freckles when Dad refused to bail him out from the dog catcher after several incarcerations. That was OK though because he still came and played with us and the Watsons had to feed him."
With its naturally hilly terrain, the Highlands neighborhood was well suited to ramblers with walkout basements. That's Paul and Freckles near the breezeway in the photo below.
Highlands offered high-end homes for the era. Many of the homeowners were like Lucius Trautman, executives commuting to Minneapolis jobs. Trautman was one of the owners of Minneapolis Artificial Limb Company, which has a long history in the state.
Do you have Edina home photos to share? In addition to the Trautman house, we featured Alden Drive photos from the Parsons family here. We'd love to feature your home as well. Email me or call the museum at 612-928-4577 to find out how.
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