The following are some events in the life of the road
with many names. Information about both the St.
Louis Park and Golden Valley sides is included. Thanks to our
neighbors in Golden Valley for sharing information with us.
And many, many thanks to John Yngve, who grew up in the
community at Colorado and Wayzata, now vanished. Note:
we rely on an incomplete set of St. Louis Park directories,
so please contact us if
you have corrections or additions.
Also see The North Side and
Highway 12 Buildings.
A Note on addresses:
In general, buildings with odd numbers are south of Highway
12 in St. Louis Park, and those with odd numbers are north
of Highway 12 in Golden Valley. There was a time,
before 394, when there was a piece of St. Louis Park that
was north of the Highway; McCarthy's Cafe is a notable
example. There was (and still is) some land at
the southwest corner of Highway 100 and 394 that belongs to
Golden Valley. A land swap was proposed, but nothing
came of it and 394 took care of part of it.
Shelard, located north of 394 out
west, was annexed from Minnetonka by St. Louis Park in 1954.
1851-54: The Territorial government authorized the
Minneapolis and Lake Minnetonka Plank and Road Company to
build a plank road which appears to have been the precursor to
The Held family homesteaded land on either side of what
would become Highways 100 and 12 in 1869. Their land
encompassed 42.5 acres in Golden Valley and 50 acres in St.
Louis Park. The property included 36 acre Lake Virginia,
which was fed by springs. It took 7 months to drain it
by ditches soi t could be used for farmland. The only
remnant of the 60 ft. lake now is a 2 acre storm sewer pond
that was put in in 1986 when I394 was built. Held had
90 acres of crops, ranging from feed and grain, flowers, and
vegetables, including their famed white celery. What
is now the intersection of Highways 100 and 394 was a tomato
field high on a gravel hill. Highway construction took a
toll on the farm and it stopped production in 1949. In
1956, however, a Julius W. Held, truck farmer, was listed in
the St. Louis Park directory at 5051 Wayzata Blvd.
This was on the north side of Highway 12, across from
1886: Golden Valley was incorporated as a Village,
population 467. St. Louis Park was incorporated as a
Village, population 350.
A picture dated 1893 showed a crew preparing the ground for
Superior Blvd. It's identified as near Batson's
The highway was built between 1896 and 1901.
Notes from August 1900 indicated that the St. Louis Park Village Council
worked with Golden Valley to create/grade Superior Blvd. The
Village took a portion of road from Moesen’s Corner east to
D.D. Sullivan’s property.
A Minneapolis Journal article dated March 26, 1911
Boulevard to Tonka
county commissioners took the first step toward making
Superior Blvd., the trunk road connecting the city with
the north shore of Lake Minnetonka, a modern
In 1918, John A. Johnson platted an eponymous
subdivision. See Yngve.
In 1920, one stretch of the road was widened to 18 feet. For
awhile the highway was the only paved road west of
Superior Blvd. was closed most of the summer of 1922.
The 3.8 miles from Lyndale to the Great Northern viaduct was
paved with "asphaltic concrete." The existing 14-foot
strip of bituminous macadam was broken up and used as
the sub-base for the new pavement. The new road was to
be 27 feet across.
Also in 1922, a 30-foot roadway was graded on the north side
of the boulevard between the Great Northern bridge and the
Minneapolis city limits. That section was graveled.
In 1923, the one and a half mile stretch between the Great
Northern bridge and the Minneapolis city limits was the last
section of the boulevard between Minneapolis and Lake
Minnetonka to be paved. In October it was widened to 27
feet. A portion of the road from the top of Tyrol Hills,
east down the hill past the intersection with the Theodore
Wirth Parkway, was paved with brick.
The work was urged by the Civic and Commerce Association and
the Automobile Club. Although the state highway
department was paying for the road outside of the City,
Minneapolis was responsible for the stretch inside the city
limits. Further improvement of the State road was
dependent on Minneapolis paving its road.
In 1926, the stretch from Minneapolis and several miles out
was paved at 27 feet, but the rest of the way to Minnetonka
was only 14 to 18 feet wide. That section was paved
and widened, and the road opened in July 1926.
Also in 1926, there was a Superior Inn listed in a business
directory, located at Superior Blvd. and the Dan Patch
And in 1926, the Superior Blvd. Bus Lines got residents
On November 4, 1931, the Village Council approved the
request of Rufus R. Rand, Mayor of Wayzata, to change the name of
Superior Blvd. to Wayzata Blvd. A Minneapolis councilman
reported that Wayzata means "North of the Pines." Rand
reasoned that the name Superior was misleading, in that it
did not go anywhere near the city of Superior.
A 1931 map seems to indicate that the St. Louis Park section
of Superior Blvd. stopped at Texas, where it veered
In 1932 it was proposed to widen a portion of the road to
two lanes (each way?). Apparently it ran through the old "Camden
In 1935, a State Senate investigation looked askance at
payments for land along Wayzata Blvd. that one highway
department official decried as 16 times its value.
What's worse was that Fred Ossana was believed to have some
part in the transaction. By the way, the paper was
still calling it Superior Blvd.
During the 1930s, the road was concrete and had three lanes
- one for each direction and one in the middle to pass.
At some point during the 1930s, a grade separation was built
taking Superior Blvd. under the Great Northern tracks.
The North Side was prone to brush fires, but the
The Highway 100/Highway 12
Cloverleaf was opened on November 25, 1937.
Construction had started on June 20. Highway 12 was being built as a two lane, divided highway
with 24 inch lanes. The road was built with WPA funds.
Highway Department statistics showed that in 1937, Wayzata
Blvd. had the highest traffic volume in the state. 6,653
vehicles traversed the road per day. Highway 100 would
not open until 1939.
The Sorgenfree Tavern was run by
Martin and Ethel Christensen in 1938. It was a 3.2 beer tavern
where the neighbors collected from time to time. It
was on the north side of Wayzata, east of the railroad
tracks - close to both the blvd. and the tracks.
1939 or before: Bill's Place was located west of
Turner's Cross Road and Wayzata. It would become the
Click here for a picture of the Highway 12 bridge over
Highway 100 after the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940.
Development was slow at first in the Wayzata Blvd. corridor,
partly because it was basically a wetland based on peat
1945-47: Golden Valley residents rejected development
proposals for an airport, drive-in theater, and sports
stadium along Wayzata Blvd.
See Candlestick Park.
1945 or before to at least 1958: The Boulevard Cafe
was located at 5530 Wayzata, in Golden Valley, just west of Turner's Crossroad. The site is now the
Colonnade office building, built in 1988 at 5500 Wayzata.
1949: Brothers John and Albert
Yngve and their friend Bill Nordstrom built the Pylon
Drive-in at 6224 Wayzata at Colorado in Golden Valley.
Although it was in Golden Valley, the owners, staff, and
most of the clientele were from St. Louis Park.
As with Highways 100 and 7, in 1950 the Village signed a
contract with the State promising to allow no curb gas
pumps, gas stations, or billboards. Curb gas pumps went by
the wayside, but there were plenty gas stations and
The land in Golden Valley north of Highway 12 was changed
from open development to commercial. In 1956 it was
rezoned industrial and light industrial.
1950: Superior Blvd. was widened to four lanes.
The Held family and a developer from California built the
Golden Hills Shopping Center on what had been a melon field.
The Golden Hills Shopping Center was located east of
Turner's Crossroad. Addresses ranged from 5300 to 5530, etc.
The easternmost portion of the shopping center is now the
Metropolitan. The much-loved
Smorgasbord was located in
the shopping center. Golden Hills was a victim to 394 in
about 1988. Is the abandoned parking lot east of the
Metropolitan left over from Golden Hills?
1951-52: The four lane Highway 12 was completed
from Minneapolis to Trunk Highway 101. In earlier years the
road had been known as Highway 10, Superior Blvd., or the
Glacier Trail.Highway. McCarthy's Cafe, one of
the few businesses on the road, was placed on a service road
that was still called Wayzata Blvd.
1953: The road was scheduled to be redesigned, and a signal
installed at the intersection at Turner's Crossroad/Vernon, now Park Place.
On the Golden Valley side you can still see where the road
goes right up to the new highway and stops, just west of the
1954: St. Louis Park annexed
Shelard from Minnetonka. Today it is the only St.
Louis Park land north of Highway 394.
1958: An indoor ice arena opened
at 5800 Wayzata Blvd. in
1958: General Mills opened its world
headquarters at Wayzata Blvd. and Highway 169 (then CR 18).
1958 or earlier: Red Crown Lanes was located at 7650
Wayzata Blvd. in Golden Valley.
In February 1959, Mr. E.J. McCubrey of the State Highway
Department appeared before the City Council to discuss plans
for Highway 12. Council notes indicate that adjacent
landowners wanted a “peel off lane” or cut off from 12 to
the north. McCubrey indicated that such a plan would
probably not be approved by the Bureau of Good Roads. Notes
from the City Council in the summer of 1960 indicate that
Mn/DOT did make improvements of Wayzata Blvd. between CR
18 (169) and highway 100.
In 1962, the SLP City Council approved a preliminary
plan submitted by Mn/DOT on April 18, 1961 with the following
The south service road must extend across the tracks
There must be a full diamond at Louisiana.
The Texas intersection must be designed the same as
or earlier: Uncle John's Pancake House was located at
6920 Wayzata Blvd. in Golden Valley.
1963: The SLP City Council passed a resolution
approving a traffic signal at Hwy 12 and Louisiana.
Anderson Cadillac moved from Excelsior Blvd. (or was it
Lyndale?) to 7400
Wayzata Blvd. in Golden Valley and operated until 1975.
1966: Golden Valley purchased the Brookview Golf
Course for $1.35 million. Its original name was the
Superior Golf Club.
Stoplights at Turner's Crossroad and Louisiana were
installed in 1967.
In 1968, the area southwest of Highways 12 and 100 was
paved, got curbs and gutters and storm sewers.
Plans to turn a portion of State Highway 12 into Interstate
394 were first hatched in 1968. Construction would not begin
1970: Chrysler City in Golden Valley was the
largest car dealership in the U.S. The site (6800
Wayzata Blvd.) became Menards. The original building
was demolished (and the concrete recycled) in 2010.
The new store opened in 2011.
1994 Photo courtesy Emory Anderson
1970 or earlier: Jim Lupient Olds was located at 7100
Highway 394 was added to the interstate system in 1968, and
originally was to be called 894. In 1969, its
number was changed to 394. (Minnesota State documents do not
appear to have referred to the road as 894.) The road was to
run east from I-494 in Minnetonka to Washington Ave. in
downtown Minneapolis, following the old Highway 12.
A picture from 1981 shows the Wayzata/Louisiana intersection
all torn up, and may be when several businesses, including
two gas stations, were removed.
Construction on the new Highway 394 began in 1984, and started with a stretch west
of 494 in Wayzata and Minnetonka. The delay between
conception and implementation may have been due to land acquisition problems and significant protests.
It was estimated that about 400 parcels of land would have
to be purchased at a cost of about $100,000. St. Louis
Park City officials were generally in favor of the improved
road, while Golden Valley was not.
The 494 interchange opened in around 1986.
The section between the Shelard Parkway overpass and General
Mills Blvd (including the US 169 interchange) opened around
In 1988, the sections between 494 and near I-94 opened.
Construction of the 394/Highway 100 interchange began in
1989 and opened in 1991. It was the most complicated
piece of the project and a lot was stake - one estimate was
that 170,000 vehicles drive that intersection daily.
The section east of I-94 was opened in 1991.
The road was finished in 1993. The final cost was $450
million for 9.75 miles of roadway.
In 1996, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded
the I-394 Transit Corridor an
in Design award in 1996; the award page contains an
overhead photo of an interchange with HOV connections.
The Allianz project was built at 5701 Golden
Hills Drive in 2000. This was the site of the Ice
Center, which, although it was in Golden Valley, was the
site of Park hockey games before the Rec Center was built.
Photo from 1994 courtesy Emory Anderson.
An interesting and thorough site is
Also see the article in the
Re-Echo, June 2007