Updating website content. Saving and documenting historic parks.

When we're not adding new content and maintaining websites, we're raising community awareness for historic Depression-era Lilac Way parks.

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Restore Lilac Way

Launched in 2008, restorelilacway.com is a civic project conceived, written, designed and maintained pro bono by Karen Laukkonen.

It documents the Depression-era history of quirky beehive fireplaces and seven Lilac Way roadside parks on Highway 100 in Minneapolis, MN. It also drives community support to preserve and restore the three remaining parks.

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Recent successes have proved that years of work were worth it.

Graeser Park, June 2023. Rare beehive fireplace, restored by MnDOT's Historic Roadside Properties Program from 2021-23.
Graeser Park, June 2023. Rare beehive fireplace, restored by MnDOT's Historic Roadside Properties Program from 2021-23.

Graeser Park

In 2023, MnDOT’s Historic Roadside Properties Program completed a major Graeser Park restoration project.

Its rare Depression-era beehive fireplace in Robbinsdale was beautifully restored, 11 picnic tables rebuilt from materials salvaged from lost Lilac Way parks, and the rock garden was transformed.

Rock Island Park, Sept. 8, 2021. This 1930s WPA-built Lilac Way park features a curved stone bench, two stairways and a 10' footbridge to an island in a pond.
Rock Island Park, Sept. 8, 2021. This 1930s WPA-built Lilac Way park features a curved stone bench, two stairways and a 10' footbridge to an island in a pond.

Rock Island Park

Restore Lilac Way’s three-year campaign to save Rock Island Park from destruction was a success. We encouraged St. Louis Park to take ownership of a rare 1930s rock garden, saving it from destruction.

Now known as Rock Island Park, the community responded through emails, yard signs and a virtual rally to convince the city to accept the park from MnDOT, bringing it under the umbrella of their park system.

For the first time in decades, all remaining Lilac Way parks are safe from demolition.

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Specializing in updating websites to keep your audience—and Google—coming back.

Laukkonen Design updates existing WordPress websites with new content, links, pages, photos and articles that engage your audience.

And we manage the entire process, worry-free.