Catalog of Minneapolis Park Plans: Volume III, 1926-1935

The thirty annual reports produced while Theodore Wirth was superintendent of parks in Minneapolis — 1906-1935 — were rich in detail and illustrations. Those reports included 328 plans, designs and maps of parks and park structures. The publication of those plans usually coincided with the acquisition or development of new properties or the improvement of older ones, so they are a good guide to where to find some discussion of those park properties in annual reports or proceedings. So, long ago I catalogued all of those plans in one document to create a searchable guide to park development during those years. I have relied on that list for the last few years and assumed other researchers and park lovers would find it useful as well.  I’ve already posted the first twenty years worth of plans, and today is Volume III, 1926-1935.

Detail of a plan published in the 1912 annual report showing a proposed canoe house on a peninsula in Lake Harriet. (1912 Annual Report, Minneapolis Board of Park Commissioners)

The plans published in annual reports were not the only plans created by the park board staff in the years Wirth was superintendent of parks. They are mostly conceptual plans, rather than working plans. The park board requested many of the plans specifically as park commissioners considered various park proposals and possibilities.

The number of employees in the park board’s engineering department are not published in every annual report, but in most years for which that info is provided, it appears that one or two draftsmen were employed. A few of their names appear as “Delineator” or “Del.” on the plans. Sometime in the near future, I’ll provide a guide to some of the names of the people who helped prepare plans.

The titles of the plans are verbatim as they appear on plans. I’ve also copied dates, names and titles as they appear, but have added some punctuation to make them easier to read. Parenthetical comments identify current park names or mention important plan elements.

The annual reports from 1931 to 1935 were not typeset in order to cut costs during the Depression. The reports also contained very few plans or illustrations, not just to reduce printing costs, but because the park board had no money to spend on improving parks.

1926 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: February 2, 1927

  1. John Deere Webber Baths Elevation (p. 24) Magney and Tusler, Inc. Architects and Engineers
  2. Plan of John Deere Webber Baths Floor Plan of Improvement (p. 25), 1926, Magney and Tusler, Inc. Architects and Engineers
  3. Map of Minneapolis Park System 1926 Showing Paved and Unpaved Portions of Parkways and of City Streets used as Connecting Links and Location of Golf Courses A – Existing, B – To Be Constructed (p. 26) Theodore Wirth, Sup’t, A.E. Berthe, Civil Engineer
  4. Riverside Park Field House (p. 89), 1927, Downs & Eads Architects
  5. Plan for the Improvement of the Tenth Ward Playground Providing both Summer and Winter Playground Facilities (near Cleveland Park, never acquired) (p. 90), January 1927, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Sup’t & Engineer, A.E. Berthe, Ass’t Engineer, C.F. Gosslee Delineator
  6. Suggested Plan for the Improvement of Washburn Fair Oaks (p.90a, very large fold out) (includes plan for “Esplanade” from Art Institute to Minneapolis Auditorium, in text Wirth explains that he hopes Wyman’s more elaborate 1923 plan can be substituted in future for this modest one), January 1927, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Sup’t & Engineer, A.E. Berthe, Ass’t Engineer, C.F. Gosslee, Delineator
  7. Plan for the Improvement of Lake Hiawatha Providing for a Golf Course and A Playground Etc. (p.94a, very large fold out) November 1926, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Sup’t & Engineer, A.E. Berthe, Ass’t Engineer, C.F. Gosslee, Delineator
  8. Plan for the Improvement of Clinton Avenue Playground Suggesting an Extension North and an Extension West as Alternates (p. 94b fold out), December 1926, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Sup’t & Engineer, A.E. Berthe, Ass’t Engineer, C.F. Gosslee, Delineator
  9. Lagoon Plan – Glenwood Park providing for the Excavation of Bassett’s Creek Straightening and Widening Its Channel and Raising the Adjacent Swampland (p. 96a, fold out) (Showing north, chalet, and south lagoons, north of Glenwood Lake) January 1927, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Sup’t & Engineer, A.E. Berthe, Ass’t Engineer, C.F. Gosslee, Delineator
  10. Plan for the Rearrangement of Franklin Steele Square Devoting One Half of Park Area to School Playground (p. 98) (closes 16th St. between park and Madison School), November 1926, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Sup’t & Engineer, A.E. Berthe, Ass’t Engineer, C.F. Gosslee, Delineator 

1927 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: February 1, 1928

  1. “L’ENVOI” Proposed Civic Center Between Auditorium and Art Institute (artist’s bird’s-eye rendering, unsigned, Board of Park Commissioners, Minneapolis, Minnesota) (p. 8) (with extended caption over Wirth’s name, expanding on Fair Oaks plan for 1926)
  2. Plan for the Development of a Joint Park & School Playground at the Alexander Ramsey School (Keewaydin) (p. 28), January 1928, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Civil Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  3. Plan for the Improvement of Farview Park Providing a Full-Developed Playground (p. 68) December 1927, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Civil Engr, H. W. Lathrop, Delineator
  4. Plan for the Rearrangement of Audubon Park Providing for a Full-Developed Playground in Conjunction with Thos. Lowry School (Includes elevations) (p. 70),  January 1928, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Civil Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  5. Preliminary Study Plan for the Improvement & Development of the Diamond-Pearl Lake Areas for Park & Recreation Purposes (p. 71) January 1928, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Civil Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  6. Richfield City Limits Extension Preliminary Study for Location of Neighborhood Park Playgrounds One for Each Square Mile of Residential Property (p. 72) February 1928, Board of Park Commissioners (First instance I know of Wirth using square mile measure, p. 73: “If we follow the established rule that every square mile of residential city area should be provided with a standard-sized playground of not less than two city blocks or ten acres…”) 

1928 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: December 31, 1928

  1. Preliminary Ground Floor Plan of Terminal Building at Municipal Airport – Wold-Chamberlain Field (p. 66) February 1929, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  2. Present Plan for the Development of Minneapolis Municipal Airport – Wold-Chamberlain Field (p.66a, large fold out) November 1928, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  3. Plan of Meadowbrook Golf Course Showing Location of Additional Nine-Hole Course (never built) (p. 72a, fold out), January 1929, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  4. Improvement Plan of Minnehaha Creek Acquisition between Humboldt and Zenith Avenues (p.80a, fold out) December 1928, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  5. Proposed Plan for the Improvement of the Frank H. Peavey Field Providing Tennis Courts & Small Children’s’ Playground (p. 82a, fold out) February 1929, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  6. Plan for the Improvement of Seven Oaks Oval Providing Council Sites for Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls (p. 83) January 1929, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  7. Map of Minneapolis Park System – 1928 (p. 84a, fold out), Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, H. W. Lathrop, Delineator
  8. Map of Minneapolis Park System – 1928 Showing the Playground Situation (p. 84b, fold out) Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, H. W. Lathrop, Delineator, Karl B. Raymond, Director of Recreation
  9. Sketch Plan and Profile Showing Location of Suggested Artificial Water Supply for the Chain of Lakes at Brownie Lake – Glenwood Park (p. 88) (Next page is a photo of Huntington Falls, Golden Gate Park, the effect Wirth hoped to obtain) February 1929, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator

1929 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: January 1, 1930

  1. Proposed Picnic Shelter at Glenwood Park near Glenwood Avenue (Location, floor plans and elevation) (Theodore Wirth Park) (p.50a, fold out), February 1930, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer
  2. Sketch of the Proposed Administration Building the Municipal Airport (Wold-Chamberlain Field) (p. 94) (Street and airfield views), Downs and Eads
  3. Ground Floor Plan Proposed Administration Building at the Minneapolis Municipal Airport (p. 96), February 1930, Theodore Wirth – Supt & Engr, H.H. Eads, Architect
  4. Progress Plan of Improvement as of December 31st, 1929 Minneapolis Municipal Airport — Wold-Chamberlain Field (p. 96a, fold out) Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  5. Proposed Administration Building at the Minneapolis Municipal Airport, Second Floor Plan, Basement Floor Plan (p. 97), February 1930, Theodore Wirth – Supt & Engr, H.H. Eads, Architect
  6. Suggestive Plan for the Acquisition and Improvement of Lands along Bassett’s Creek Valley between Glenwood Park & Bryn Mawr Meadows (p. 106a, fold out) January 1930, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr
  7. Suggested Location for a Standard Football & Baseball Field for Camden Park at the North Terminal of Glenwood-Camden Parkway (Webber Park) (p.107) February 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  8. General Plan for the Enlargement of Facilities at Longfellow Field (p. 108) January 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Asst. Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  9. Proposed Rearrangement of Pershing Field in Conjunction with the Alexander Bell Senior High School (the school was eventually named Southwest High School) (p. 110)  January 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  10. Improvement Plan of Stevens Square (p. 112), January 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  11. Alternate Improvement Plan of Stevens Square providing Tennis Court Facilities Exclusively (p. 113) February 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  12. Advance Study Plan Showing Possibilities of a Playground in Conjunction with Hiawatha School (p. 114), January 1930, Theodore Wirth, Superintendent & Engineer, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  13. Location Plan for the Proposed Boat & Refreshment Pavilion on the East Shore of Lake Calhoun (p. 115), January 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer
  14. Floor Plan for the Proposed Boat & Refreshment Pavilion at Lake Calhoun (p. 116) January 1930, Theodore Wirth – Supt & Engr, H.H. Eads, Architect (Next page presents drawings of building, signed H. H. E.)
  15. Preliminary Sketch of Victory Memorial Drive (p. 119), 1921, Decorative Scheme by Phelps Wyman (Caption: Suggested Grade Separation at Intersection of Glenwood-Camden Parkway with Lowry Avenue and West Broadway. See Wirth text p. 119-120)
  16. Suggestive Plan for the Grade Separation of River Road East at the East End of the Cappelen-Franklin Avenue Bridge (p. 120a fold out), Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  17. Proposed Plan for the Diversion of the South End of St Anthony Boulevard (Ridgway Parkway) (p. 120b fold out), January 15, 1930, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Superintendent & Engineer, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator

1930 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: January 1, 1931

  1. Suggestive Floor Plans for Recreation Building (p. 68) Board of Park Commissioners
  2. Progress Plan of Improvement as of December 31st, 1930 Minneapolis Municipal Airport – Wold-Chamberlain Field (p. 92a fold out), Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  3. Suggestive Plan for the Utilization of the Proposed Triangle and Adjacent Ground Acquisition at Glenwood-Camden Parkway & 19th Ave. North (p. 102), January 1931, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Asst Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  4. Plan for the Proposed Improvement of Columbia Park (p. 102a, fold out), December 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Asst Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  5. Plan for the Proposed Development of Diamond-Pearl Lake Park (p. 104a, fold out), November 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Civil Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  6. Improvement Plan Providing Additional Playground Facilities at Longfellow Field (p. 105), December 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  7. Plan Showing Suggested Topographical Changes at Lyndale Park to Provide Better Pageant Accommodations (p. 106), February 1931, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Asst Engineer
  8. Section 1 of Minnehaha parkways Suggested Valley Route for Main Parkway between West 50th Street and Harriet Avenue (p. 107), January 1931, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Asst Engr
  9. Route for the Connection of Stinson Boulevard with River Road East, The Missing Link of the Grand Rounds Boulevard System (p. 108a, long fold out) January 1931, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Asst Engr, (Past Van Cleve Park, through what is now Dinkytown)
  10. Revised Improvement Plan of Pershing Field (p. 110), November 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer
  11. Proposed Realignment of River Road West near Franklin Avenue (p. 111), November 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  12. Improvement Plan of Stevens Square (p. 112) (Composite of two 1929 plans), October 1930, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator
  13. Sketch Plat of Territory Embracing Sources of Shingle and Bassett’s Creek (p. 119) (Accompanying text addresses Metropolitan Park System, includes parks suggested by 1923 Morell and Nichols report) February, 1931, Theodore Wirth, Supt & Engr
  14. Proposed West Minnehaha Creek Development, Prepared for Board of County Commissioners – Hennepin County, Sven A. Norling, Consulting Engineer (p. 120a, large fold out) (From Gray’s Bay to Meadowbrook Golf Course) Plans for Utilization & Development Designed by Theodore Wirth & Harold W. Lathrop of the Board of Park Commissioners, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator, July 1930
  15. Maps of Minneapolis Park System 1883, 1905, 1930 (p. 127a, fold out)
  16. Suggestion for an Outdoor Concert Stadium (No location specified,  but drawn beside a body of water) (p. 172a in Secretary’s Report by Charles Doell, not listed in table of contents), March 1931, Designed by R. M. Thurston, Sketched by H. W. Lathrop

1931 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: January 1, 1932 (Not typeset)

  1. Sketch Plan for the Proposed Concourse at the Junction of Godfrey Road & River Road West (p. 82, fold out) January 1932, Theodore Wirth, General Superintendent, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Delineator

1932 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: January 1, 1933 (Not typeset)

No plans or designs, but four noteworthy tables and graphs

  • Inventory Table of Park Properties 1883-1933 (p. 89, large fold out)
  • Graph Showing Total Expenditures 1883-1932 (p. 4a, fold out Secretary’s report)
  • Comparison of Cumulative Improvement & Maintenance & Operation Costs 1883-1932 (p. 4b)
  • Cumulative Gross Amount of Park Bonds Issued, Retirements, and Annual Bonded Debt for Park Purposes (p. 4c) Charles E. Doell

1933 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: January 1, 1934 (Not typeset)

  1. Proposed Improvement Plan for Post Office Square (p. 70a, fold out) (Pioneer Square), March 1934, Theodore Wirth, General Superintendent, A.E. Berthe, Assistant Engineer, Harold W. Lathrop, Designer
  2. Suggested Post Office Park Development (p. 70b, drawing), February 1934, J. A. Brunet – Del.)
  3. Proposed Monument for Post Office Park (p. 70c, drawing, fold out)
  4. Lake Elevation Naval Memorial – Lake Calhoun (p. 72a, drawing, fold out)
  5. Suggested Treatment for Naval Memorial Mast and Rock at Lake Calhoun (p. 72b, drawing and elevation, fold out)
  6. Untitled “small plat” showing the “outlines and location of the two tracts of land, both adjacent to State Fairground, suggested” by Wirth for a Minnesota Zoological Garden (p. 81)

1934 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: January 1, 1935 (Not typeset)

  1. Suggestive Sketch for the Enlargement and Rearrangement for the Demonstration Gardens at the Parade Grounds Sketch No. 1 (p. 136a, fold out) (with 10 tennis courts), May 15, 1935, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt. & Engr., A.E. Berthe, Ass’t Engr., I.H. Lauttamus, Delineator
  2. Suggestive Sketch for the Enlargement and Rearrangement for the Demonstration Gardens at the Parade Grounds, Sketch No. 2 (p. 136b, fold out) (with second garden instead of tennis courts), May 15, 1935, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt. & Engr., A.E. Berthe, Ass’t Engr., I.H. Lauttamus, Delineator

1935 Superintendent’s Report
Dated: January 1, 1936 (Not typeset)

  1. Diagrammatic Route Map for Airways Entering & Leaving Minneapolis with Time Schedules Shown (p. 104), January 1936
  2. Map of Projected Development of a System of Lagoons in Glenwood Park (p. 121), January 1936, Theodore Wirth, Sup’t of Parks, A.E. Berthe, Park Eng’r
  3. Tentative Study Plan for the West Section of a Metropolitan Park System for the Twin Cities (p. 128a, fold out, color), Prepared for The Board of Park Commissioners by Theodore Wirth, General Superintendent of Parks, in collaboration with the Department of Highways, State of Minnesota, N.W Elsberg, Commissioner of Highways, A. R. Nichols, Consulting Landscape Architect
  4. Chart Showing Location & Distribution of Bathing Facilities & Population (p. 142a, fold out), November 1935, Theodore Wirth, Sup’t, A. E. Berthe, Eng’r
  5. Plat of Properties Involved in Proposed Jackson Square Enlargement & Swimming Pool Project (p. 144), November 1935, Theodore Wirth, Gen. Supt., A.E. Berthe, Civil Eng. I.H. Lauttamus, Delineator
  6. Proposed Plan Showing Enlarged Playground with Swimming Pool at Jackson Square (p. 145), November 1935, Theodore Wirth, Gen. Supt., A.E. Berthe, Civil Eng. I.H. Lauttamus, Delineator
  7. Suggested Layout for Swimming Pool in Jackson Square District (p. 146), November 1935, Theodore Wirth, Gen. Supt., A.E. Berthe, Civil Eng. I.H. Lauttamus, Delineator
  8. Suggested Plan Showing Enlarged Playground with Swimming Pool at Van Cleve Park (p. 146a, fold out), November 1935, Theodore Wirth, Gen. Supt., A.E. Berthe, Civil Eng. I.H. Lauttamus, Delineator
  9. Improvement Plan of Riverside Park (p. 148a, fold out), January 1922, Theodore Wirth, Superintendent, A.C. Godward, Engineer
  10. Suggested Plan for the Rearrangement of Audubon Park (p. 150), November 1935, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Supt. of Parks, A.E. Berthe, Civil Engineer
  11. Suggested Plan for the Improvement for Bottineau Field (p. 151), November 1935, Theo. Wirth, Supt. of Parks, A.E. Berthe, Park Engr.
  12. Improvement Plan of Maple Hill (Beltrami) (p. 152), November 1935, Theo. Wirth, Supt. of Parks, A.E. Berthe, Park Engr.
  13. Suggested Arrangement for Secretary’s Office & Reception Room (p. 155) November 1935, Theodore Wirth, General Sup’t, Chas. E. Doell, Secretary
  14. Suggested Concert Plaza at Lake Harriet (built on fill in lake) (p. 158), November 1935, Designed by Theodore Wirth, Gen. Supt., A.E. Berthe, Civil Eng. I.H. Lauttamus, Delineator

I would welcome questions or comments on any of the plans shown in the three installments of this catalog. If you would like a word document of all three volumes of this plan catalog in one document, please e-mail me at the address below.

David C. Smith   minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com

© David C. Smith

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2 comments so far

  1. […] If you’re looking for plans relating to specific parks, you might want to consult the index of annual report plans (foldouts as well as those printed on a single-page), which I published a couple of years ago in Volume I: 1906-1915, Volume II: 1916-1925 and Volume III: 1926-1935. […]

  2. […] Park Plans, 1906-1935, which was presented in three installments recently (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3). The catalog identifies all the plans and drawings published in Minneapolis park board annual […]


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