plan for lake street elevation, 1938, from the Minneapolis city archives

Lake Calhoun Expressway

Published April 9, 2014 by Kirsten Delegard

More dispatches from the Minneapolis City Archives. This watercolor from 1938 shows a proposal to elevate Lake Street as it runs along Lake Calhoun in front of the Calhoun Beach Club. If this plan had been realized, the intersection of Lake Street and Excelsior Boulevard would have become a highway cloverleaf, with high speed entrance and exit ramps.

The city never moved forward on this plan. Lake Street remained a ground level and was slowed by the installation of regular traffic lights. But I’m thinking that this never-realized plan might have still influenced the development of this area. Lake Street drives like a high-speed thruway. And the stretch shown here is one of the most dangerous areas in the city for pedestrians. In recent months, a woman was killed while she was trying to cross the road.

Watercolor from the Minneapolis City Archives, City Hall.