The East Harriet neighborhood is located in Minneapolis' Southwest Community. It takes its name from Lake Harriet, which Fort Snelling builder Col. Henry Leavenworth named after his wife in 1819. The neighborhood is bordered by 36th Street on the north and 46th Street to the south. Lyndale Avenue is the eastern boundary; Lake Harriet and Lakewood Cemetery largely make up the western border of the neighborhood. In addition to these Minneapolis landmarks, the Lyndale Park Rose Garden and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary are located within East Harriet. Many houses in the neighborhood are two-story homes, set back from the streets.
Source: City of Minneapolis East Harriet Profile
Amy Zimmerman has lived in the East Harriet neighborhood for a year and a half. While she is currently working as a Trust Administrator (estate planning), her life’s work and passion is in music. An aspiring Opera singer, she has three music degrees: B.Mus. from Immaculata University in Philadelphia, a Masters degree in Musicology, and a Masters degree in Arts Management, both from City University London. Amy is an avid Yelp contributor and blogs as Kitchen Diva, which used to be devoted to her garden and cooking but after a diagnosis of Dietary Fructose Intolerance (DFI) she now focuses on recipes that are DFI friendly.
You can follow our footsteps by accessing the East Harriet walk on MapMyWalk.com. On the day that we met for our tour, it was approximately 100 degrees with 75% humidity (read: hot, sweaty mess). So, we both agreed it would be best to limit our tour to a few key highlights around Amy's home which happen to be some of the most gorgeous spaces that the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board have to offer. I know there is more to East Harriet and I look forward to returning. If you want to be the next tour guide for East Harriet, fill out the tour guide form.
"Lyndale Farmstead Park, located on a scenic hillside at 39th and Bryant Ave. S, is one of the most historically-significant park sites in the city. Originally the Lyndale Farm, owned by Colonel William S. King, the land was acquired by the Minneapolis Park Board in 1899." Source: Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.
Lyndale Farmstead once had greenhouses and was host site to many large flower shows, beginning in 1908 until 1975. The above photo depicts one of many signs provided by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; giving visitors a glimspe into our park's rich history. For avid history buffs, I recommend you visit Parks, Lakes, Trails and So Much More: An Overview of the Histories of MPRB Properties (PDF).
The beautiful building you see below was once home to Theodore Wirth, the man we can thank for laying the foundation for our fabulous parks system. The City of Minneapolis lured him away from Hartford, CT with promises of a home. His legacy is being documented through this project - a "playground within a quarter-mile of every child and a complete recreation center within a half-mile of every family".
Source: American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.
The sledding hill behind Theodore Wirth House reminds Amy of North Central Pennsylvania where she grew up. In Pennsylvania, they call it the sugar bowl. According to the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, this sledding hill is called "King's Hill" after William King.
One of seven stone sculptures on the Pathway to Peace which connects the East Harriet neighborhood with the Peace Garden. Each sculpture includes words that represent the community’s feelings about the meaning of peace. (source: Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board website)
The Peace Garden was originally called The Rock Garden so you'll se references to it as the "Peace (Rock) Garden" in places such as the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The rocks within the park create a micro-climate for plants such as alpine and conifer.
The Spirite of Peace bronze sculpture was created by Caprice Glaser, a St. Paul artist. The sculpture was dedicated in 2006 and the ceremony is described in the Twin Cities Daily Planet article by Tom Laventure.
The Lyndale Park Rose Garden features more than 3,000 plants in 100 varieties. It is a common destination for outdoor weddings and photo sessions. I've visited the park on days when there are between 3-4 photo shoots of wedding parties happening at a time.
Little did we know when we set out on our tour of East Harriet's finest parks that we would happen upon a scene of a crime! Mischievous vandals left a big, soapy mess which caused the Phelps Fountain to be shut down for maintenance. Fortunately we stayed long enough to see the fountain turned back on.
Phelps Fountain: "Gift of Edmund J. Phelps, then a Park Commissioner. The fountain originally stood in Gateway Park. It was moved to its current location in 1963 when the original site was redeveloped."
Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum Art Inventories Catalog
The Heffelfinger Fountain: "Gift of Frank Totton Heffelfinger to the Minneapolis Board of Park Commissioners in 1944. The fountain dates to the 17th century and was previously located at the Villa Montalto in Italy. Heffelfinger purchased the fountain in the 1920s and also donated $8,000 towards its installation."
Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum Art Inventories Catalog
Though I was able to capture a few full blooms, the Rose Garden was dramatically impacted by the Japanese Beetle. The Star Tribune and Southwest Patch wrote articles explaining the impact of this scarab beetle.
After walking through the beautiful parks, Amy showed me examples of beautiful homes and gardens in the neighborhood. The home above reminds Amy of those that would be in Connecticut or Cape Cod.
East Lake Harriet Links
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Fill out the tour guide form if you want to take a walk with me and make multiple stops or fill out the neighborhood gem nomination form for me to consider featuring a specific person, place or thing!
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I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment. What was your favorite part of this tour? What places do you plan on visiting? Do you live and/or work in the neighborhood? If so, do you have additional information on any of our tour highlights?