This page deals with 36th Street between Excelsior
Blvd. and Alabama Ave.
WEST OF HIGHWAY 100
West 36th Street, between Highway 100 and Wooddale, is
just a short stretch of road, but it has undergone many
changes over the years. Although surrounded by industry and
retail, it appears to have started out as a residential
area. There were several houses, some dating back to the
1920’s, lining the streets. Other houses were built in the
1940’s and ‘50s.
One of these houses was the family home of
the namesake of Charles Schulz’s cartoon character. The area
was still pretty wide open – the land that would become
Shoppers’ City was still vacant, and the land north of 36th,
behind the houses, was used as a refuse dump by the
Minnesota Tree Service.
In 1946, blacktopping of 36th Street was delayed because
residents were afraid that Friedheim’s trucks would cover it
Things started to change in about 1949, when
Rubber started building its compound in the area. Then
starting in about 1951, there was a building boom of sorts.
It was then that the residents complained, and requested
clarification of the zoning of the area. Turns out that 36th
Street was zoned light industrial in 1932. It was rezoned
multiple dwelling in 1947, but then went back to light
industrial in 1952.
Addresses of buildings built in or shortly after 1951 on are
listed below: (Italicized addresses indicate the legal
address of a multi-address building.)
5605 (VFW): 1954
5618: 1952 (demolished)
5700-02-04-06-08-10: 1960. One
occupant in 1969-70 was the Youth Help
Center, aka Youth Problem Solving Agency, run by Bud Larson.
One former teen remembers it as a place for kids to hang out
on couches (or make out on mattresses).
Jerry Holt built this building. It (like the rest of
the street) had probably been zoned residential; in 1952 it
was rezoned light industrial, but the Village Council
required that the building had to be stucco on the east and
south sides, and brick on the north. In 1956, the F.M.
Wolfe Co. made Wolfe Salad Dressing here. In 1964 it
was (James) Totino's Finer Foods, which made frozen pizzas.
They eventually moved to larger quarters in Fridley.
5801-5807: unknown (demolished)
6210: This was the address given in a September 1953
ad in the Echo for a place called the Dari-VI,
described as across from the High School (Central). Dari VI
was an ice cream and BBQ beef place owned by Vincent Ryan. It shows up again in June
1954, September 1955, and June 1956. It's unclear
exactly where this was, but it doesn't seem to be the same
establishment as the one at 6033
W. 36th Street from Highway 100 to Wooddale was improved
in 1977. Mayor Irv Stern and Councilmen Len Thiel and Keith
Meland attended the August ribbon cutting.
In May 2011, Mayor Jeff Jacobs cut the ribbon to dedicate artwork
that had been installed on 36th Street between Highway 100
and Wooddale Ave. The artist, Marjorie Pitz, placed pieces
that look like little people along the sidewalk, with
benches that look like reclining bodies. With the Hoigaard
Village development, the installation is intended to reflect
a return of people to the street. Ironically, the street had
been residential, with houses dating from the teens and
‘20s, before they were razed in the ‘50s to build the
commercial and industrial buildings that are there now. Fun
fact: the “real” Charlie Brown was a resident of the Old
36th St. The artist describes them this way:
The inspiration for the body
benches and body bollards is to begin to "people"
the street. The City wishes to convert 36th St.
from an industrial strip to a vibrant people street
with housing and shops. Putting sculpted people on
the street now, during the transition, makes a
statement that the street is catering to people now,
not to industry. The bodies are intended to provoke
and intrigue drivers, and make them slow down or
stop sometime to engage. The bodies are
abstracted, non-literal and non-sexual to allow
people to interpret them as they wish. They are
supposed to serve as benches and bollards in a
practical, but light-hearted way.
While some of these buildings have been recently
updated, others have met the wrecking ball in
conjunction with the redevelopment of the
Minnesota Rubber plant and Hoigaard's. There is also the possibility of a
light rail station to be located at 36th and Wooddale. 36th
Street seems to be in a constant state of flux, and its
future remains to be seen.
EAST OF HIGHWAY 100
36th Street east of Hwy 100 (then known as Highland Ave.)
was improved in the spring of 1911. The route went through the farm
known as Westmoreland Park, owned by Mr. Tilney, for which
he was paid either $100 or $600. Westmoreland was the name
for Princeton Ave.
In 1912, John A. Goodrich requested that the Village put
Highland Ave. from Excelsior to Pleasant (36th St. between
Excelsior and Wooddale) “in good condition for travel.”
Again in 1913, Ora Baston petitioned the Council
to put Highland Ave. from Railway Ave. (no
such street?) to Excelsior Blvd. “in a good condition for
The road from 100 to Raleigh was blacktopped on June 15,
36th Street east of 100 seems to have been populated with
scattered houses at one time. When Friedheim and Jacobson
petitioned the City Council to change the zoning of the area
that would become the Beltline Office Park from Open
Development to Light Industrial, a resident at 36th and
Raleigh complained. This was in 1955.
In December 1954, developer Sam Clyman wanted 36 ½ Street to
be renamed 36th Lane, but was denied.
In 1970, the Fire Department burned structures adjacent to
Wolfe Lake Professional Center -
5000 West 36th Street
5100 West 36th Street - Post
36th STREET BRIDGE
The intersection of 36th Street and Highway 100 was a
busy one, and the the City Council allotted $9,000 for a
traffic signal to be installed. A hand operated signal
was to be used until the permanent one could be installed.
In 1985, a bridge took traffic over Highway 100, eliminating one of the last stoplights on Highway
The section between Belt Line Blvd. and Excelsior Blvd. was
renamed Monterey Drive. After it crosses Excelsior
Blvd., it becomes 38th Street.