Restore Lilac Way

Preserving history and promoting restoration of the Lilac Way.

Lilac Way was a 12.5 mile ‘showcase’ section of Highway 100 in Minneapolis. Built in 1939, it had seven roadside parks with quirky beehive-shaped fireplaces and big Fred Flintstone-like stone picnic tables.

With more than 30 pages, hundreds of photos, tons of history, plus maps and videos, brings that history to life. Designed and edited for smooth web readability, visitors can quickly learn about this WPA project built during the Great Depression.

This is a civic project conceived, researched, written, designed and developed pro bono by Karen Laukkonen. An online archive, it preserves history and supports the restoration of remaining Lilac Way parks.

Creative and technology services included:

  • Research, fact-checking, writing, editing and proofing
  • Wireframe and sitemap to define and organize content
  • Website design
  • WordPress content management / website populating
  • Project management
  • Image creation with retouching
  • Coordination with developer through site launch

FEATURE  Responsive website design for all devices

The Restore Lilac Way website resizes its elements, adapting to desktop or mobile devices for a great experience. It’s easy to read and navigate, and shows up higher than competitors’ “desk-top only” websites in Google searches.

FEATURE  Branding inspired by history

With design inspired by WPA posters of the 1930s, this new website builds on a long-term brand first created for the 2007 Lilac Way website.

FEATURE  Rollover map shows locations of existing and lost parks

Five of Lilac Way’s seven original 1939 parks have been lost to road construction. When a visitor rolls over a gold map pin, a popup window provides a profile of a Lilac Way park, shows them a photo and links them to a page for more information.

FEATURE  Using words and images to help a cause

Keen writing and dramatic photos stress the importance of saving one of only two 1939 beehive-shaped fireplaces left in the U.S. Built as one of FDR’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects, it created work for unemployed Minnesotans during the Great Depression.

FEATURE  Continuing a strong Lilac Way brand in signage

After seeing the original 2007 Restore Lilac Way website, the City of St. Louis Park hired Laukkonen Design to design informational graphics for the restored Lilac Park in 2009. The new web site proposes installation of signage on Highway 100 and in Graeser Park in Robbinsdale, MN.