- St. Louis Park, Minnesota
official_name = Saint Louis Park, Minnesota
imagesize = 250px
image_caption = St. Louis Park City Hall
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Hennepin County
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Hennepin
leader_title = Mayor
established_title = Founded
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date = 1852
November 19, 1886
area_total_sq_mi = 10.9
area_total_km2 = 28.3
area_land_sq_mi = 10.7
area_land_km2 = 27.7
area_water_sq_mi = 0.2
area_water_km2 = 0.5
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 44126
population_density_km2 = 1592.3
population_density_sq_mi = 4122.5
timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
latd = 44 |latm = 56 |lats = 54 |latNS = N
longd = 93 |longm = 20 |longs = 53 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 274
elevation_ft = 899
website = [http://www.stlouispark.org/ www.stlouispark.org]
postal_code = 55416, 55426, 55424
area_code = 952
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 27-57220GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0650797GR|3
St. Louis Park is a city in Hennepin County,
Minnesota, United States, and a first ring- suburbimmediately west of Minneapolis. Its neighboring cities include Edina, Golden Valley, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Hopkins, and Minneapolis. It is the birthplace and childhood home of movie directors Joel and Ethan Coen, activist Rev. Tomkin Coleman, singer/songwriter Peter Himmelman, New York Timescolumnist Thomas Friedman, politician/author/satirist Al Franken, Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist of the band humanboy Geoffrey Fischbein, songwriter Dan Israel, guitarist Sharon Isbin, writer Pete Hautman, and football coach Marc Trestman. Baseball announcer Halsey Halllived there. Its population was 44,126 at the 2000 census.
Pavek Museum of Broadcasting, which has a major collection of antique radio and television equipment, is also in the city. Items range from radios produced by local manufacturers to the Vitaphonesystem used to cut discs carrying audio for the first "talkie," "The Jazz Singer".
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 10.9 square miles (28.3 km²); 10.7 square miles (27.7 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) (1.92%) is water.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 44,126 people, 20,782 households, and 10,557 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 4,122.5 persons per square mile (1,592.3/km²). There were 21,140 housing units at an average density of 1,975.0 per square mile (762.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.91% White, 4.37% African American, 0.45% Native American, 3.21% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.28% from other races, and 1.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.93% of the population.
There were 20,782 households out of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.2% were non-families. 37.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the city the population was spread out with 18.8% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 37.7% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,260, and the median income for a family was $63,182. Males had a median income of $40,561 versus $32,447 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $28,970. About 3.0% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
St. Louis Park operates under the Council/Manager form of government. An elected
City Councilsets the policy and overall direction for the city. Then city workers, under the direction of a professional city manager carry out council decisions and provide day-to-day city services. The city manager is accountable to the City Council. St. Louis Park voters elect the mayor and six (two at-large and four ward) City Council members to four-year terms. The mayor and at-large council members represent all residents; the ward council members are primarily responsible for representing their ward constituents.
St. Louis Park is located in
Minnesota's 5th congressional district, represented by Minneapolislawyer Keith Ellison, a Democrat. The town was placed in this district, which includes traditionally 'liberal' segments of Minneapolis in the redistricting following the 1990 census. Prior to that, St. Louis Park had been part of the 3rd congressional district, along with Edina and other 'conservative' suburbs. The 3rd districit was represented by Republicans Clark McGregor and William Frenzel from 1961 until 1991.
The 1860s village that became St. Louis Park was originally known as Elmwood, which today is a neighborhood inside the city. In August 1886, 31 people signed a petition asking county commissioners to incorporate the Village of St. Louis Park. The petition was officially registered on
November 19, 1886.
The name "St. Louis Park" was derived from the
Minneapolis and St. Louis Railwaythat ran through the area.
lumber baron Thomas Barlow Walkerand a group of wealthy Minneapolis industrialists incorporated the Minneapolis Land and Investment Companyto focus industrial development in Minneapolis. Walker's company also began developing St. Louis Park for industrial, commercial and residential use.
Generally, development progressed outward from the original village center at the intersection of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway with Wooddale Avenue. However, this concentric pattern wasn’t strong and was overtaken by Minneapolis expansion. By 1883, the western boundary of Minneapolis was at France Avenue. The Minneapolis city boundary may have continued to expand westward had it not been for St. Louis Park's 1886 incorporation.
By 1893, the downtown area of St. Louis Park had three hotels and many newly arrived companies surrounded the downtown. Around 1890, the village had more than 600 industrial jobs, the majority associated with agriculture implement manufacturing.
financial panic of 1893altered the developers’ plans and put a damper on the village's growth. Walker left St. Louis Park to pursue other business ventures.
In 1899, St. Louis Park became the home to the
Peavey–Haglin Experimental Concrete Grain Elevator, the world's first concrete, tubular grain elevatorwhich provided an alternative to combustible wooden elevators. Despite the nickname of "Peavey's Folly" and dire predictions that the elevator would burst like a balloon when the grain was drawn off, the experiment worked and concrete elevators have been used ever since.
At the end of
World War I, only seven scattered retail storesoperated in St. Louis Park because streetcars provided easy access to shopping in Minneapolis. In the 10 years from 1920 to 1930, the population doubled from 2,281 to 4,710. Vigorous homebuilding occurred in the late 1930s to accommodate the pent-up need created during the depression. With America's involvement in World War II, however, all development came to a halt.
Explosive growth came after World War II. In 1940, 7,737 people lived in St. Louis Park. By 1955, more than 30,000 residents had joined them. From 1940 to 1955, growth averaged the equivalent of 6.9 persons moving into St. Louis Park every day. Sixty percent of St. Louis Park's homes were built in a single burst of construction from the late 1940s to the early 1950s.
Residential development was closely followed by commercial developers anxious to bring goods and services to these new households. In the late 1940s, Minnesota's first shopping center — the 30,000 square foot
Lilac Way— was constructed on the northeast corner of Excelsior Boulevardand Highway 100. (The Lilac Way shopping center was torn down in the late 1980s to make way for redevelopment.) Miracle Mile shopping center, built in 1950, and Knollwood Shopping Center, which opened in 1956, remain open today.
In the late 1940s, a group of 11 former army doctors opened the St. Louis Park Medical Center in a small building on Excelsior Boulevard. The medical center merged with
Methodist Hospitaland, today, is Park Nicollet Health Systems. Park Nicollet Health Systems is the second largest medical clinic in Minnesota (after Rochester's Mayo Clinic).
During the period between 1950 and 1956, 66 new subdivisions were recorded to make room for 2,700 new homes. In 1953 and 1954, the final two parcels —
Kilmerand Shelard Park— were annexed. These parcels (originally in Minnetonka) came to St. Louis Park because of its ability to provide sewer and water service.
From village to city
In 1954, voters approved a home rule charter that gave an overwhelmed St. Louis Park the status of a city. That action enabled the city to hire a
city managerto assume some of the duties handled by the part-time city council. Several bridges built during that time are now being repaired or destroyed.
In those days, the primary concerns were the physical planning of St. Louis Park, updating zoning and construction codes, expanding sewer and water systems, paving streets, acquiring park land and building schools.
The St. Louis Park School District, Independent School District 283, is home to seven public schools serving about 4,200 students in grades K-12 students. St. Louis Park is the only school district in Minnesota in which every
public schoolhas been recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellenceby the U.S. Department of Education.
Forty years ago, the proportion of school-age children in St. Louis Park was much higher than it is now, although the population has not changed much. Due to declining enrollment over the years, there have been several changes to schools in the district:
*Ethel Baston Elementary School was closed; its building is now occupied by Groves Academy, a private school.
*Fern Hill Elementary School was closed; its building is now occupied by Torah Academy of Minneapolis, a private school
*Park Knoll Elementary School was demolished to expand the
*Brookside Elementary School, Lenox Elementary School, Eliot Elementary School, and Central Junior High School were closed as public school buildings: Brookside was demolished in 2006 and condominiums built; Lenox Community Center has the [http://slpseniors.org SLP Senior Program] and preschool on the main floor, with non-profits on the second; Eliot has public and private non-district school renters; Central Community Center houses the Spanish Immersion School and other ISD 232 programs.
*Peter Hobart Elementary School and Aquila Elementary School became Peter Hobart Primary Center and Aquila Primary center, serving only grades K through 3, and Susan Lindgren Elementary School and Cedar Manor Elementary School became intermediate schools serving only grades 4 through 6.
*In 1970, St. Louis Park Senior High School served only grades 10 through 12 and had about 2500 pupils; now it serves grades 9 through 12 and serves about 1350 pupils.
St. Louis Park athletic teams are nicknamed the Orioles. The school colors are orange and black.In 2005 the school moved out of the Classic Lake Conference and into the North Suburban Conference.
The school won the boys state baskeball tournament in 1962 under coach Lloyd Holm, and had a resurgence in boys basketball in the 1970s under coach August Schmidt. Park went to the state tourney in 1978-80. Park was a power in boys track and field in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and had one of the top football teams in the state in 1970.
Girls sports have been even more successful. The girls basketball teams won two state championships in 1986 and 1990 under head coach Phil Frerk. The school also has one of the state's premier synchronized swimming programs in the state and has won many state championships in the sport. This tradition stems from a strong synchronized swimming program called "The Surf Belles" which preceded the sanctioning of scholastic competition in the sport by the state high school league. The synchronized swimming team placed 3rd in State 2008. The team has achieved this under head coach Linda Gust.
For many years, a fixture at Park athletic events was the school dance line, "The Parkettes." Renowned as the top dance line in the state, the Parkettes served as cheerleaders for the Minnesota Vikings from 1964-1983.
Some of the more well known athletes to come out of St. Louis Park include former NBA player and current Timberwolves broadcaster Jim Peterson (1980), NFL coach Mark Trestman(1974), current NHL player Erik Rasmussen(1995) and current Seattle Mariner T.J. Bohn(1998). 1965 graduate Bob Stein was an All-American end at the University of Minnesota who was the youngest player ever to play in a Super Bowl for the Kansas City Chiefs. He later served as the President of the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA from 1987 to 1994. Former Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans President Jeff Diamond is a 1971 Park graduate.
*Park Spanish Immersion is for K-6
Benilde-St. Margaret's School, is a Catholic, co-educationalschool serving students in grades 7-12
* [http://www.grovesacademy.org Groves Academy]
* [http://www.torahacademymn.org Torah Academy of Minneapolis]
* [http://www.mjds.net Minneapolis Jewish Day School]
There are over 2,700 businesses in St. Louis Park, including:
Park Nicollet Clinichealth services — 4,500 employees
Japs Olson, commercial printing and direct mail — 600 employees
*Travelers Express/Moneygram, deposit banking functions — 450 employees
NovartisNutrition Group, food products — 400 employees
* [Onvoy Inc.,] wired telecommunication carrier — 350 employees
*Midwest Plastic Components, plastic products — 200 employees
Benilde-St. Margaret's School— 200 employees
Nordic Ware, which introduced the Bundt cakein about 1950
*Northland Aluminum Products, household cooking equipment — 135 employees
*Douglas Company, nameplates and decorative emblems — 77 employees
*General Office Products, office equipment rental and leasing — 75 employees
*Hoigaard's, outdoor equipment, apparel, and furniture — 66 employees
The city employs 252 people and the school district (district #283) employs about 762.
*American Inn, 36 rooms
*Doubletree Park Place Hotel, 297 rooms; 2,200 sq. ft. meeting space
*Holiday Inn West, 197 rooms
*Lakeland Motel, 24 rooms
*Minneapolis Marriott West, 7 floors, 171 rooms, 24 suites 15435 sq ft meeting space, 9 meeting rooms
*Springhill Suites by Marriott, 126 suites
*Towneplace Suites by Marriott, 106 Suites
City Vision Project
February 12, 2006, the City of St. Louis Park embarked on its second City Vision project. This project is an initiative led by the city to determine the path it will take in the next 5-10 years. The original project, undertaken ten years ago, led to the construction of the Excelsior and Grand development which have proven to be enormous successes for the community.
Hundreds of people attended the
February 12meeting, and the city is looking into several areas that were of common interest among those in attendance. Those included balanced housing, improved transportation options, the reworking of the Minnesota Highway 7 intersections, and a gathering place for young people.
* [http://www.stlouispark.org/ St. Louis Park, MN - Official Website]
* [http://www.stlpark.k12.mn.us/ St. Louis Park Public Schools]
* [http://www.slphistory.org/ St. Louis Park Historical Society]
* [http://www.children-first.org/ Children First]
* [http://bsm-online.org/ Benilde-St. Margaret's School]
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