Linden Hills is located in southwest Minneapolis. It's bound on the north by 36th Street West and Lake Calhoun, on the east by William Berry Drive and Lake Harriet, on the south by 47th Street West, and on the west by France Avenue, which is the city limit. The neighborhood, named by the developer for the linden trees and rolling terrain, was developed in the 1880s to entice homebuyers to leave downtown for cottages on Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Most of the original cottages have been replaced by large bungalows and Tudors. The Lake Harriet-Como Streetcar ("Trolley") line runs through the neighborhood. Built at the end of the 19th century to connect downtown Minneapolis with the lakes, the historic rail line now only operates between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun.
Source: City of Minneapolis Linden Hills Profile page
Elliot Altbaum is a Southwest High School grad (2010) and has just completed his first year at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, which is listed as “one of 40 colleges that change lives”. He is currently undecided in his major but is considering Urban Development and Social Change. For the summer, he is working at Lucia’s To Go.
You can follow our footsteps by accessing the Linden Hills walk on MapMyWalk.com. Linden Hills is a relatively big neighborhood and Elliot focused on the area in which he spends the most time. He told me there is a lot more to see, including two business districts (44th & Beard and 44th & France) Southwest High School, and historic homes. If you want to be the next tour guide for Linden Hills, fill out the tour guide form.
Linden Hills is fairly close to where my husband, Scott, and I live so it is a common walking and dining destination for us. I'm including photos that were taken on our self-guided adventures in addition to those that were taken during the tour with Elliot! Warning: this post includes a couple photos taken in the wintertime which involves...gasp...snow!
Business District: 43rd Street & Upton Avenue South
The hub of most of the action in the Linden Hills neighborhood is the business district at the intersection of 43rd Street and Upton Avenue South. In addition to promoting neighborhood businesses, the Linden Hills Business Association plans three major events for the community: Woofstock, Hay Day at Linden Hills and Reindeer Day (and Night).
The newest restaurant addition to Linden Hills, Tilia, went into the space formerly occupied by Rice Paper. The completely remodeled interior is intimate and cozy and is surprisingly kid friendly thanks to their large collection of lunch boxes filled with toys. This came in handy during a recent trip with my friend Lisa and her children Mirah and Daniel. That said, Tilia is open until 1 AM - way past the kids' bedtime - offering beer (21 on tap!), wine and an in-between menu. Tilia is owned by chef Steven Brown and Jörg Pierach and has received a lot of great press.
Surly beer fans may be interested to know that Cafe Twenty-Eight [now closed] is co-owned by brewer, Todd Haug, with his wife, Linda, who is the General Manager. In addition to their delicious food offerings, they have a large selection of Surly on-tap. In addition to enjoying the spicy Fischer’s Farm Pork in Adobo paired with a pint, I like going to Cafe Twenty-Eight because its located in an old fire station built in 1914 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For a review and more photos of the interior, visit We Got Served.
Have you ever heard of Kopi Luwak? I hadn't, before visiting Coffee & Tea, a local coffee roaster and tea importer. Coffee & Tea has been family-owned and operated since the 1970's. Elliot told us that the owner is a dog-lover and Scott noticed that the register had "woof woof" scrolling across it.
The Wild Rumpus is a great destination for people of all ages. In addition to a collection of great books to purchase, they care for and display a wide variety of animals. Even if you don't have a need for it, make sure to visit the restroom while you are there! Elliot volunteered at Wild Rumpus by reviewing advance copies of books. To better understand the history of Wild Rumpus, read how the Salamander Room by Anne Mazar shaped the bookstore.
Twiggs Home & Garden offers indoor and outdoor decor for the home. I definitely need to go back because I missed out seeing Jake, their shop dog!
Heart of Tibet offers "exotic goods from the Himalaya and beyond" and is owned and operated by two Tibetans; a former monk and nun.
Clancey’s Meat & Fish Market, owned by Kristin Tombers, sources the majority of its meat from Minnesota farmers. Katie Cannon of Heavy Table profiled Clancey's in 2009.
From the Creative KidsStuff website: "Our Minneapolis store in the Linden Hills neighborhood is where it all started in 1982...a tiny little store with cinder blocks to hold up old wooden shelves, and a wide-eyed, quite naive owner who had no idea she'd ever have even one employee, and certainly no intention of ever adding even a second store! But customers clamored for more locations, so the Twin Cities Creative Kidstuff stores have grown and grown and grown since then. We now have six colorful stores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area and one in West Des Moines, Iowa."
The Bibelot Shop Linden Hills photo offers local & eco-friendly gifts, clothing, jewelry, paper & home goods.
The Linden Hills Sebastian Joe's location has a landscaped outdoor patio as well as a large indoor seating area featuring a fire place to encourage the enjoyment of ice cream in our colder months in Minneapolis. I like to justify a cone by walking around Lake Harriet first! I recently publicized that one of the greatest benefits of being an adult and making my own decisions, I'm able to enjoy a scoop as my meal!
Tom Amundson and Sally Weissman have owned the Linden Hills Great Harvest Bread Company since 1982. Elliot shared with us that the bakery supports the community, including Southwest High School athletics.
Bayers Do it Best Hardware [now closed] has been a family owned and operated business serving Linden Hills since 1923.
From the Heartfelt website: "Heartfelt stocks a unique selection of natural gifts, toys and crafts, as well as offering inspiring and unusual craft classes. Vibrant colors, interesting products, comfy chairs and a large table for craft classes make the shop intriguing for adults and children alike." I have a short list of places I will be frequenting this winter to chase away the blues during our darker months and this shot straight to the top when I found out that they offer adult-only craft classes. What can be better than hanging out with friends, sipping on wine and making crafts!?
From the Linden Hills Florist website: "We are a family-owned florist offering style that respects tradition flavored with a contemporary edge...European garden meets Urban delight!"
Like many businesses in Linden Hills, The Zumbro Cafe is a family-owned business. It has been serving breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch since 1992. We Got Served has a great review complete with photos of the delicious food and cute interior.
In front of Famous Dave's BBQ Shack, passerby have enjoyed impromptu piano recitals from players of all skill levels thanks to a public art project, Pianos on Parade. This is a project by Keys 4/4 Kids, a charity that provides fine, used pianos at discounted prices. This particular piano was designed by local artist and designer, Renee Larson. Read The Southwest Journal story: Piano as public art in Linden Hills by Aaron Ruper.
According to the Southwest Journal, "The Linden Hills Famous Dave's opened in 1995 as the chain's first corporate restaurant. It was built in what used to be a gas station." (source) It is currently a hot topic for the community as a developer is proposing a new mixed-use development which includes both retail and residential occupants.
One of the newer additions to the slate of dining options in Linden Hills, Naviya's Thai Brasserie and is the third restaurant to open with the name of owner, Naviya LaBarge.
A popular hangout for all ages, the Dunn Bros Coffee is a popular stop for people headed to Lake Harriet.
Linden Hills Spiritual & Religious Organizations
When Elliot planned our tour, he made note of the large number of spiritual and religious organizations and places of worship in Linden Hills. There is diversity in architecture and beliefs that I find to be a great asset of this quaint neighborhood. Regrettably, a congregation was unintentionally omitted from my collection of Linden Hills photos: True Apostolic Community Church located at 3520 West 43rd Street.
Upper Room has its office in Linden Hills but holds its worship services in St. Louis Park. For more information about their mission, values, and goals, visit their website.
Formerly a Methodist Church, this stately silver-domed building is now the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community. From their website: "Lake Harriet Spiritual Community is a vibrant, spiritually diverse community which honors and explores the unique connection to the Divine within each of us. Through our commitment to personal development we contribute to the expansion of global consciousness. We maintain a beautiful environment which is available for members and the greater community for meetings, workshops and wellness offerings."
The Church of St. Thomas the Apostle was founded as the first parish in Southwest Minneapolis. Corondelet Catholic School represents two parishes - Christ the King and St. Thomas the Apostle. The name reflects their commonality of having Sisters of St. Joseph of Corondelet teach at their respective schools. The lower campus (grades K-2) are located at St. Thomas the Apostle in Linden Hills and the upper campus (grades 3-8) at Christ the King in Fulton neighborhood (51st and York).
Minneapolis Meeting of The Society of Friends (Quakers) was founded in 1854. They share their space with Mayim Rabim Reconstructionist Congregation which was founded in 1992 and affiliated with the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation.
Linden Hills is home to both the Third Church of Christ, Scientist and a Christian Science Reading Room. Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879.
Linden Hills Congregational United Church of Christ describes themselves as traditional in their serviceyet theologically progressive in their values. To learn more, visit their website.
St. John's Episcopal Church's website provides a fascinating view of their history as a congregation: they mortgaged their building during the Depression; stood for Civil Rights; experienced decline in membership and persevered to the point of needing a larger worship space. Their building expansion allowed for greater accessibility but a 150-year old Oak tree was removed and repurposed as a conference room board table and trim throughout the building.
Linden Hills Park
At Linden Hills Park, people have access to a wide range of park amenities such as soccer fields, basketball courts and an ice skating/hockey rink.
The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council organizes an annual festival every summer. It provides an opportunity for residents of all ages to connect in the park. I went to the Kiddie Art Bike Parade.
The Minnesota Streetcar Museum operates the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line and it celebrated its 40th anniversary this year (2011). The history of the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line is a great way to learn Twin Cities history.
Homes of Linden Hills
Built in 1897 on two lots, the Charles and Katherine Van Tuyl house is described in detail in the AIA Guide to the Twin Cities (page 243) and in the Linden Hills Walking Tour guide (last page on the PDF).
The Art Tree
Since 2009, I've been watching and documenting the evolution of what I have come to calling "The Art Tree of Linden Hills." After leaving a note letting the owners know of my fondness for their art and that I wanted to feature them on my blog, I was so excited that Elise and Norman replied and were willing to meet. They provided a bit of background for their tree:
How did your tree become an art installation in your front yard?:
The story of the tree is pretty simple - the tree was still fairly healthy when we purchased the home in 1995, but it slowly started to die. We started hanging different things in it (and placing things under it) to make up for the lack of needles.
Tell me about the pieces you've hung in the tree:
Almost everything on it is something I've made, or something we bought at a thrift store. There's little rhyme or reason to it, and almost everything is hung at a low level simply because I'm 5'3". I really just make these things to amuse myself or to try out a new craft of some sort (I've done many different things over the years: quilting, jewelry, silkscreening, and mosaics, to name a few.)
I hope to return to Elise and Norman's home to watch the progression of an outdoor dining area that includes a pizza oven and a pizza pie shaped patio.
Linden Hills Links
* Linden Hills Neighborhood Council
* Linden Hills Business Association
* City of Minneapolis Linden Hills Profile page
* More of my LindenHills Photos
Invite me back!
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?