Some of our favorite items in the archive are local postcards, including this early view of an unpaved Kenwood Parkway. In December 1890, the Minneapolis Park Board combined Kenwood and Superior boulevards, calling the new unified road Kenwood Parkway. Kenwood Parkway fit into the Park Board’s larger — and ambitious — vision for a broader network of parks and parkways crossing the city, and in the 1890s they spent time and money to improve the condition of Kenwood Parkway. Still, it would be many years before the road was paved; the Park Board attempted to keep the dust down with the copious use of horse-drawn “sprinkler” carriages. In 1901, angry residents complained that the Park Board had pulled the sprinkler horses off the road to haul hay and water trees in the city’s parks, leaving the Parkway impassable due to heavy levels of dust. By 1909, the Park Board was experimenting with different methods of paving Kenwood Parkway. By then, the street also had to meet the new needs of the city’s burgeoning automobile population.
Cedar Imboden Phillips serves as the executive director for the Hennepin History Museum. Learn more about the museum and its offerings at hennepinhistory.org or 870-1329.