In this article, we shall be talking about various landmarks within the city of Edina, Minnesota. And it appears that there are six landmarks within the city, and as such, we shall be talking about these landmarks only, as well as giving you ample descriptions of what they are. We will also be describing them in alphabetical order, now, without any more distractions, let us begin.
First off, there’s Bridge No. 90646. Bridge No. 90646, also known as the Wooddale Avenue Bridge, is a multi-plate steel arch bridge that carries a local street over Minnehaha Creek in Edina, Minnesota, United States. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in February 2016.
The bridge is 21 feet (6.4 m) long, has a span length of 18 feet (5.5 m), and a width of 40.4 feet (12.3 m). It is faced with Platteville limestone. The area was originally part of the George W. Baird farm, but in the 1920s, much of the farmstead was sold off for development. In 1922 the Edina Country Club housing subdivision was platted, just north of the bridge and north of 50th Street. The Edina Country Club, west of the bridge, was opened in 1923, and other portions of Edina were being developed as well. As traffic increased, the original steel beam bridge was no longer sufficient to accommodate all the vehicles, so the city of Edina sought a replacement in 1937. On March 8, 1937, the Edina City Council accepted the proposal by Lyle Culvert & Pipe Company to build an Armco multi-plate arch bridge. The facing was proposed to be irregularly coursed boulder stone, designed in the rustic style. Construction began in May 1937, but in July 1937, the design of the stone facing was changed from boulder stone to limestone. This was done to harmonize with the limestone veneer on the nearby St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The construction schedule did not appear to be set back. Construction was largely complete in August 1937, and a city newsletter published in September 1937 shows the completed bridge.
The multi-plate arch bridge design was introduced in 1931 by the Armco Culvert Manufacturer’s Association. The plates are made of galvanized corrugated steel, manufactured in curved segments, and assembled on site to build an arch. The corrugations, about 6 inches (150 mm) wide and 1.5 inches (38 mm) deep, formed a very strong bridge. The multi-plate arch design was popular in the 1930s as an alternative to reinforced concrete slab-and-girder construction for bridges with a short span. The bridge could also be assembled by unskilled labor, and the stone masonry was labor-intensive, so the Works Progress Administration was able to employ a number of people in its construction. While many multi-plate arch bridges were built in Minnesota during the Great Depression, bridges of that type are increasingly rare. A 1988 survey found 35 surviving multi-plate arch bridges in the state, but in 2014, only eight of these bridges were left.
Then, there’s Cahill School. Cahill School is a one-room schoolhouse now located in Tupa Park near Minnesota State Highway 100 and Eden Avenue in Edina, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest remaining building in Edina, and served as a schoolhouse, church, community center, and theater over its 94-years in use. The school continued to be used with its woodstove and outhouse until it closed in 1958. It was moved to its present location from the southeast corner of Cahill Road and West 70th Street in 1970.
The school is open for school field trips and special events.
Continuing with the list, there’s the Country Club Historic District, it is a suburban residential district established in 1922 in Edina, Minnesota, United States. It was one of Minnesota’s first comprehensive planned communities and served as the prototype for subsequent town planning in this suburb of Minneapolis. The development was modeled after the J.C. Nichols Country Club District in Kansas City, Missouri.
The district is also noted for its homogeneous Period Revival architecture. The architectural styles are primarily Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Georgian Revival and Mediterranean Revival designs. The neighborhood is listed in the National Register of Historic Places with 550 contributing properties mostly built 1924–1931. It was listing for having local significance in architecture, community planning, and landscape architecture.
After that, there’s the George W. Baird House is a house in Edina, Minnesota, United States, built in 1886 by a prominent farmer in the Edina Mills community. The house was originally part of a 120-acre (49 ha) farmstead. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 for having local significance in architecture, agriculture, and settlement.
The house is two stories tall and is built in the Eastlake style. It has a distinctive silhouette, with multiple roof shapes, dormers, a square tower, and tall brick chimneys. The large front porch has wooden posts and balusters, with a pediment over the entrance. The exterior is embellished with stone window trim, transoms, scalloped wooden shingles in the gables, and belt courses. It was designed by prominent Minneapolis architect Charles S. Sedgwick.
The house is significant for its architecture, although it is not an outstanding example of a Charles Sedgwick-designed Eastlake house when compared to other houses.
In addition to its architectural notability, the house recalls the agricultural roots of Edina. The owner, George W. Baird, moved from Pennsylvania to Minnesota in 1857 and bought a farm in the Edina Mills area. Baird was a promoter of scientific farming practices and pioneered in livestock breeding, and he is credited with bringing the first Merino sheep to Minnesota. Baird and his wife Sarah helped found the Minnehaha Grange Hall in 1873 and both served as Grange Masters there at different times. Sarah Baird also led the state Grange for 18 years.
In 1936, 80 acres (32 ha) of the farm were platted as the County Club District, which itself is listed on the National Register. The home is in an excellent state of preservation, thanks to attention from current and previous owners. The house received a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) addition in 2002–2003 that does not detract from the original appearance when viewed from West 50th Street.
The Jonathan Taylor Grimes House is one of the oldest standing houses in Edina, Minnesota, United States.
It was built in 1869, and appears to have been influenced by Andrew Jackson Downing’s book The Architecture of Country Houses. The house is a 1½ story frame cottage with intersecting gable roofs, dormers, a bay window, and a shallow front porch. Gothic Revival details are found in the second-story windows, the steeply pitched roof lines, and the gabled wall dormers. Some Italianate influences are also present in the shallow portico and the wide eaves with scroll-cut brackets. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The owner of the house, Jonathan Taylor Grimes, was an early settler in the Edina area and a pioneer horticulturist. Grimes was born in Leesburg, Virginia in 1818 and moved to Terre Haute, Indiana in 1840. He married Eliza Angeline Gordon in 1843. Eliza and Jonathan, along with three small children, moved to Saint Anthony in 1854. In 1859, Grimes and a partner, William Rheem, purchased 160 acres (65 ha) in the southwest corner of what was then Richfield Township. This land included the Waterville Mill on Minnehaha Creek. The mill was later known as the Buckwater Mill, then the Browndale Mill, and finally the Edina Mill. Grimes later obtained a quit claim deed to 160 acres (65 ha) north and east of the mill, where he built the house in 1869. In 1867, Grimes and Rheem sold the mill, and Grimes went on to become the first president of the Minnesota Horticultural Society. He conducted a variety of agricultural experiments, and he was responsible for introducing ginkgo and catalpa trees to Minnesota.
Eliza Grimes died in 1902, and her husband died in 1903. After his death, the farmstead was subdivided. It became the Morningside area, a streetcar suburb. Morningside seceded from Edina in 1920, then rejoined Edina in 1966. Grimes Avenue in Edina is named for him, and Alden Drive is named for his son.
Finally, there’s this landmark, Minnehaha Grange Hall. Minnehaha Grange No. 398 was organized on December 23, 1873, with members from Edina Mills, Richfield Mills, St. Louis Park, and Hopkins. The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, commonly known as the Grange, is an organization dedicated to the principles of “progressive agriculture” for the “social fraternity of the farmers”. The organization was founded in 1867 by Oliver Hudson Kelley in Elk River, Sherburne County, Minnesota and quickly spread across the country. The fraternity tackled issues such as railroad prices, and providing education to farmers.
The Grange Hall was moved to Tupa Park near Minnesota State Highway 100 and Eden Avenue in Edina, Minnesota from its original location at the southeast corner of Wooddale Avenue and West 50th Street.
The building also served as Edina Village Hall from 1888 to 1942.
The building is now owned by the Edina Historical Society along with the adjacent Cahill School, which are open for tour by appointment.