Bruce Wickstrom found the above postcard while looking through his photos, and he donated it last week to the Edina Historical Society.
I didn't find anything more about the motel after a cursory look through our files. The Biltmore Motel features much more prominently in our visitors' memories, and thanks to former owner Harold Adolphsen, we have brochures and information in our collection about that Vernon Avenue business.
Wickstrom remembers that it was located in front of what was to become the Radisson South (now a Sheraton). According to the info on the back of the postcard, the Normandale Motel was located at 7816 Normandale Road, at the northwest corner of Highway 100 and Interstate 494.
The Normandale Motel must have faced some stiff competition when the new and fancy Radisson opened in 1967. Entrepreneur Curt Carlson, who grew up in Morningside, saw opportunity in south Edina when the interstate system was developed. Already owner of the downtown Radisson, Carlson developed a 600-room “resort style” hotel at the busy Bloomington crossroads.
While I know little about the Normandale Motel, the Radisson became famous for its unique problem caused by straddling Bloomington and Edina borders. Bloomington allowed alcohol, but Edina did not grant on-sale licenses to any business outside of the two country clubs. As a result, liquor could be served in the bar on the Bloomington side, but it couldn't be brought anywhere else on the property.
The communities arranged a land swap to solve the problem. Edina gave up its land owned by the Radisson for Bloomington property to expand Braemar park. It was considered a win-win for everyone.
The "5 min. to Baseball" on the back of the card (see below) tells me that Normandale Motel was around in 1956 when the Minnesota Twins' Metropolitan Stadium opened in Bloomington. Can anyone tell me more about the Normandale Motel? Please email me or comment here.
Thank you to Bruce Wickstrom for donating this piece of Edina history.
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