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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