Archive for the ‘Prospect Park’ Category

Triangle Followup: Prospect Park, Laurel and Sibley Triangles

Summer gardens are gone and I never got a good picture of another beautiful park triangle: Sibley Triangle located in northeast Minneapolis where  Washington Street NE and Fifth Street NE meet. (For earlier posts on park triangles see this one on small triangles and this one on triangles in Prospect Park.) Every time I was in the neighborhood I was without camera, so if any readers have photos I’d like to post them. The garden is planted and maintained by volunteer Robin Russell, who has done a fantastic job. Sibley Triangle is another of Minneapolis’s six triangles that are listed as 0.01 acre. The park board acquired the little triangle from the city in 1920.

Like Sibley Field in south Minneapolis, it was named for Henry Hastings Sibley, but the triangle was named first. Apparently having a little street triangle named for Sibley did not sufficiently honor Minnesota’s first governor, so the larger neighborhood park was named for him too — three years later. (The larger park had previously been referred to as Cedar Avenue Heights Park. See more here.)

I was also informed by Michelle Kellogg of the park board that the volunteer who  deserves the credit for maintaining the tranquil gem of Laurel Triangle in Bryn Mawr is Patty Wycoff. Thanks Patty!

Laurel Triangle 2011

Finally, I spent an enjoyable evening in July with the Prospect Park Garden Club at the home of Mary Alice Kopf talking about triangles and other parks in the neighborhood. Thanks to Julie Wallace who dug up the info from neighborhood association documents that Bedford Triangle and Clarence Triangle were altered in 1979. Bedford Triangle was obliterated and the street on one side of Clarence Triangle was removed so it now appears to be part of the yard on the northwest corner of the Bedford and Clarence intersection. The only thing that suggests it is not private property is a boulder on the corner — as in the other Prospect Park triangle parks. I learned that night that the boulders were unearthed during the construction of I-94 through the neighborhood.

David C. Smith

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Prospect Park Garden Club wins Triangle Award; Orlin Triangle is smallest park.

An update on the smallest park triangles:

The beautiful triangles in Prospect Park are maintained by the Prospect Park Garden Club. I learned that in the delightful backyard of Mary Alice Kopf last Saturday during the Annual Garden Walk and Plant Sale sponsored by the Prospect Park Garden Club. Nobody I talked to in Prospect Park knew, however, why some triangles were taken over by the park board and others weren’t. So if you know…

I am certain now that Orlin Triangle is the smallest of the street triangles in the Minneapolis park system.

Orlin Triangle in Prospect Park is the smallest park in Minneapolis.

The second smallest is Elmwood Triangle at Luverne and Elmwood just north of Minnehaha Creek near Nicollet. Basic grass and tree — and two dead end signs. Seems a bit ominous.

Elmwood Triangle, the second smallest park in Minneapolis, listed at 0.01 acre. Based on my rough measurements, bigger than Orlin Triangle.

The most attractive triangle park outside of Prospect Park is Laurel Triangle in Bryn Mawr. My next task is to find out who takes care of this park. Laurel Triangle was purchased by the park board for $700, most of which went to pay back taxes, in 1911, so it’s a little older park officially than the Prospect Park triangles.

Laurel Triangle, at Laurel and Cedar Lake Road, is beautiful too, in a wilder way than the Prospect Park triangles. So big it has two sidewalks and two stop signs. There’s a little stone bench next to the tree that I’d love to sit on with a cup of coffee.

Another of the smallest triangles is Rollins Triangle at Minnehaha and E. 33rd St. across from Peace Coffee. Quite a different environment on a busy thoroughfare and considerably larger than the smallest. Farther south, Adams Triangle on Minnehaha and 42nd, is one-third-acre, one of the larger triangles.

Rollins Triangle has a newspaper stand, a bus bench, vent pipes and a bit of a garden that’s overgrown. Definitely larger.

Most triangles are named for streets, but Rollins was named for the real estate development, Rollins Addition, in the neighborhood. It was taken over by the park board at the request of the city council in 1929 and officially named in 1931.

Someday soon I’ll visit the two remaining triangles listed at 0.01 acre in the park board’s inventory, Sibley and Oak Crest in northeast Minneapolis. But judging by their images on Google maps they are both larger than triangles shown here.

I purchased several plants for my yard at the Prospect Park Garden Sale at Pratt School. This whole business of planting triangles inspired me. And that was one objective of early park planners — to encourage us to replicate the pretty little public gardens on our own property.

David C. Smith