From the Re-Echo, December 2008

In a surprise and welcome move, the City of St. Louis Park decided to move the Beehive fireplace from Lilac Park (Highway 100 and Minnetonka Blvd.) to SLP Roadside Park (Highways 100 and 7) this fall instead of next spring. In mid-September, Otting Movers dug up the structure and put it on a trailer. On October 22, the Beehive was towed down Minnetonka Blvd. to Ottawa, down Ottawa across Highway 7, and down the service road that serves Nordic Ware to Roadside Park. Thanks to the expertise of the movers, the structure survived the move in perfect condition. Afterwards, the Ottings exclaimed: “That’s the smallest building we’ve ever moved!” It is now in the ground and snug for the winter.

In the meantime, the picnic tables and other stone structures at Roadside Park were cleaned, pieced together, restored, and placed on new pads. Pads were also made for bike racks and a portable toilet, to be installed next spring. Roadside Park, which has been voluntarily maintained by Nordic Ware, is in the process of becoming a jewel of the six original wayside parks built in 1939 along with Highway 100. The only other existing park is in Robbinsdale.

The move was covered by the Sun-Sailor, the StarTribune, KSTP-TV, the City’s Park Perspectives, and no doubt many other local newsletters and publications. A full-blown media event and picnic will be held next spring.

Thanks go to Rick Birno, Recreation Superintendent for the City, who has been the force behind this endeavor, from writing the proposal, obtaining the funding, hiring the movers, and overseeing the restoration of Roadside Park. The work done on these parks couldn’t have been done without him and we are grateful for his actions to save this precious piece of our history.

The work so far has come under budget, and the amount that the Historical Society has been challenged to raise has been reduced to $10,000. Those funds will go toward restoration of the Beehive next spring. We have already raised almost $8,000, and just need one more push to meet our goal. Thanks go to everyone who helped raise those funds! If you would like to donate, send your check to the Historical Society at 3700 Monterey Drive, SLP 55416.

For pictures of the move and links to media coverage, see the Historical Society’s web site at