Thin Ice

Bryant Square
Bryant Square Park. Photograph from the collection of the Hennepin History Museum.

One benefit of Minnesota’s cold winters is ice skating in neighborhood parks and on city lakes! Here, skaters take to the ice at Bryant Square Park. During the 1910s, maintaining an adequate ice surface at Bryant Square Park was difficult. The park, situated as it was in a deep sunken pit, had drainage problems and an uneven topography. Neighborhood children flooded the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board with complaints of ash and sand being dumped on what ice surface they did have. By the 1920s, however, the park had been improved, a new field house had been constructed and the Park Board had fully committed to creating and maintaining a useable rink. In 1925, the Park Board maintained 30 rinks with warming houses at parks across the city, including this one at Bryant Square.

Cedar Imboden Phillips serves as executive director for the Hennepin History Museum. Learn more about the museum and its offerings at or 870-1329.