JORVIG PARK, HOME OF THE SLP HISTORICAL SOC. Bob Reiss, from the
Re-Echo, Winter 2003
On November 25, 1969, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and
Pacific Railroad Depot in St. Louis Park was entered into
the National Register of Historic Places. On April 21, 1971,
the St. Louis Park Historical Society was incorporated.
Its founding was part of the "Save Our Depot" campaign
conducted by Marie Hartmann and a small group of
enthusiastic supporters. Marie Hartmann served as the
President of the Society until her death in 1996.
As a result of this committee's work, the Depot became the
property of the City of St. Louis Park. With the help
of a Federal grant, it was moved to its present location in
Jorvig Park. Moving was a condition of the railroad
because the original site was too small for development.
The Depot was built in 1887 by the railroad that was better
known as the Milwaukee Road. It was originally located
on 36th Street between Brunswick and Alabama Avenues.
Along with the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad, better
known as the St. Louis line, it served a very important
function in the history and the development of St. Louis
Park. The railroads were the only method of getting
freight into the Village. From 1883 until 1955, the
Milwaukee Road also provided passenger service to and from
The Depot is of typical 19th Century wood frame architecture
and construction, and is divided into 3 rooms: a
passenger waiting room, an office, and freight room.
The freight room is ground level and has a plank floor, one
foot lower than the other sections. The station
interior has a built-in desk, counters, and storage areas.
Today the Depot is essentially in the same condition as when
it was moved. It has never been restored and still
lacks plumbing and rest rooms.
Jorvig Park itself is significant in the history of St.
Louis Park. It was the first suburban park outside of
Minneapolis. When a depot was first built by the St.
Louis Line, the stop became know as St. Louis Park.
At various times, the park as been known as Center,
Bandstand, Fireman's and finally Jorvig Park. During
the 1930's, a bandstand was located on the current site of
the Depot. Village bands held concerts during the
summer. For years, the popular Fireman's Carnival was
also held on this site, which at that time was directly
across the street from the Firebarn. It was a money
raiser for volunteer firemen. Finally, it was formally
named Jorvig Park after Torvil Jorvig, one of St. Louis
Park's premiere councilman.
The original interest was that the Depot be used to house
the historical documents and other items significant to the
development of St. Louis Park. It is still currently
used for storage of records, papers and pictures that have
been donated to the Society. Summer meetings are held
in the Depot on the [first] Tuesday of every month, but is
not open to the public any other time except by appointment.
This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.