Here are some grand views of the Grandview District (shown on the Google map below). You probably have seen news stories or perhaps even participated in the discussion of the future of the Grandview District. (If you want more info, see background materials and a draft plan at the Edina Citizens Engagement web site.)
Today, as a bonus Photo Friday, I thought I'd show you some interesting aerial photos on how the area has changed since 1947. I urge you to go to Historical Aerials web site to get sharper images and explore the area in detail. The site has a really cool feature where you can slide a bar to see the area change from one year to the next. (Kind of like the "before" and "after" advertisements that show the effect of wrinkle cream.)
I love it. Seriously, go there today. You don't have to look at just Grandview...type in the address of your house and see how your block has changed over the years. It's a little addicting for a history fan like me, especially since I think aerial photos sometimes look like ultrasound images. In other words, I can't always identify parts of Edina in its infancy when it looks so different than it does today. This web site really helps compare and contrast the exact same street year to year.
(You would think I was a late night pitchman on some home shopping channel, but I have no affiliation with the web site. Just a new fan....)
Anyway on to the grand views of Grandview. This 1947 view shows no freeways. (Go to the web site and zoom in to see how few buildings were in the area.)
Grandview 1966 (below). You can see a diamond interchange, and the large building to the right (or east) of the interchange is the 1954 Village Hall, which sits approximately where the current City Hall parking lot is today.
Grandview 1970 (below). You can see Highway 100 has been widened and the off ramps are now loops. Tupa Park, where historic Cahill School and Minnehaha Grange Hall No. 398, was created from the green space in the lower right loop.
And finally, Grandview in 2006, much as it looks today. This is after the Grandview Square area was developed, with the new public library and Senior Center building.
What will the area look like in the next decade? Check out the draft plan below to see what is being proposed (see page 24 for a map) for the next chapter in Grandview's history.
Note: I bring you this extra edition of Photo Friday, only because I didn't post earlier in the week due to the holiday and illness. Thank you to researcher Dan Lapham for telling me about www.historicaerials.com.
Would you rather live on 43 1/2 Street or Morningside Road?
E. Dudley Parsons, one of Morningside neighborhood's first residents, thought Morningside Road just sounded better than 43 1/2 Street. "It seemed to me that this was a most clumsy designation for a thoroughfare," he recalled in 1938 for his "The Morningsider" column in the Hennepin County Review.
Because of his efforts, the roadway that was platted as 43 1/2 Street in 1905 was renamed Morningside Road in 1911 by the Edina Village Council.
Here's the strange part: there was no 43rd Street in Morningside, then or now. So why wasn't the road just named 43rd; why include the 1/2?
Parsons answered that question in an oral history interview: "On the original plat of Morningside there was proposed a 43rd Street that was to run through the area from France Avenue to Wooddale, just along the edge of the slope. The street, however, remained only 'theoretical.'"
As you can see by the Google map below, Morningside does have fairly long blocks, comparatively speaking. Forty-Third Street was intended to run mid-point of Alden Drive and Scott Terrace (as a continuation of 43rd Street in Minneapolis), but was never built, most likely because the hilly topography wasn't conducive to putting a street there.
"There was no 42nd Street at all during the early period," Parsons also noted. "Alden Drive ended in a pile of sand, in fact right below our house."
St. Louis Park also designated the street as Morningside Road, but it strangely called the short street just south of Morningside Road 43 1/2 Street.
Note: Thank you to researcher Dan Lapham, who found the Parsons column while reading through the Hennepin County Review newspapers and brought it to my attention. The newspapers are housed at the Hopkins Historical Society.
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