Nearby Parks: Landscape architect Arthur Nichols and park fireplaces
This is not about Minneapolis parks, but let’s not be parochial. These coincidences are too good to pass up — and they are little more than a stones throw from Minneapolis.
I recently came across more information on Arthur Nichols, a Minneapolis landscape architect I had written about here and another notable park fireplace: the Beehive in St. Louis Park.
Nichols designed a series of roadside parks along Highway 100 from St. Louis Park to Robbinsdale when Highway 100 was constructed in the late 1930s. Read more about those mostly paved-over parks at the website of the St. Louis Park Historical Society here.
The beehive fireplace is of interest not only because it’s a cool design that could accommodate three picnicking families at a time, but because it is similar in several ways to the Minnehaha Park incinerator I wrote about a few days ago. Like the incinerator it was built in 1939. The slphistory web page claims it was built by unemployed masons, which I assume means it was part of a government relief work program, much like the WPA which was responsible for the Minnehaha incinerator. The beehive and incinerator were also both made of locally quarried limestone, the beehive limestone from the Minnesota River bluffs near the Mendota Bridge and the incinerator limestone from at or near Minnehaha Park which is only a couple miles north.
What I have yet to learn is whether Arthur Nichols designed the beehive fireplace himself or just specified it in his park plans. If anybody knows, please fill us in.
David C. Smith minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com