Linden Hills… picturesque Minneapolis lakes neighborhood with an interesting history

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Linden Hills, nestled in the rolling hills between the southern shore of Bde Maka Ska (formerly known as Lake Calhoun) and the western shore of Lake Harriet, is one of the most charming and coveted neighborhoods in Minneapolis. With picturesque homes of varying styles and sizes, local shops and restaurants, and plenty green space many clients I work with have Linden Hills on their list of where they would love to live.

What makes this neighborhood so unique is not only its location, but its diverse topography of hills and plateaus and lakes, which led to varying street formation and lot characteristics… some larger and more stately homes such as those along along winding streets like Linden Hills Boulevard near Lake Harriet, middle class ‘pattern book’ homes to the west, and small bungalows in Cottage City (see related post below). Some homes gained stature by being on hills, and modest houses were built on back lots behind street-facing houses. All of these factors made Linden Hills an interesting place for mostly middle-class families to live… with varied homes, people and landscapes.

The “Village”area near 44th Street and Upton is the hub of shopping and delicious eats. This area with the lake just down the hill is what most people think of when they hear ‘Linden Hills’. But Linden Hills extends all the way from the western shore of Lake Harriet to France Avenue and has other neighborhood corners along the way on 44th Street.

linden hills-village-lake

The original Turtle Bread Company is further west at 44th & Beard along with other shops, and at the corner of 44th & France there is another shopping area including the Linden Hills Co-op.

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In today’s real estate world, demand for this unique neighborhood has driven up the prices of even the most modest homes so the median sale price of homes sold YTD 2020 is $600,000, with a range of $325,000 (mostly teardowns) to $2,999,000.

teardowns2

Some of the original homes are still there, along with many newer ones to create an even more notable mix of houses. Linden Hills has been the at the heart of the ‘teardown’ craze because of its idyllic location between the lakes where there is no undeveloped land available.

When the city of Minneapolis was first developing a visit to the now famous city lakes meant a day trip. All that changed when the railroad arrived in Linden Hills… and developers got busy. You can see Linden Hills Boulevard below as they were readying it for paving. What I find even more interesting is the ice cream shop in the top left photo below, ‘Wheelman’s Rest.’ There was a bicycle craze in the 1890s and this was a popular stop for ice cream… sound familiar?

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I find it amazing that Sebastian Joe’s, the ice cream shop where we first discovered the wonders of Linden Hills and homemade ice cream, is only a few blocks from Wheelman’s Rest… and it is still going strong! Looking at the map below, it’s easy to see why this was the perfect location… on a park corner between the lake and the parkway. Things haven’t changed much. We used to meet a group of friends by the tennis courts in this park to walk around Lake Harriet, then go to Sebastian Joe’s for ice cream!

linden hills-ice cream corner

The lakes also have historical significance. Dakota chief Cloud Man oversaw a village in the area between Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet in the early 1800s… they were probably the first inhabitants of the city of Minneapolis. There is a stone just south of the parking lot at 36th St and Lake Calhoun Parkway recognizing the Dakota Sioux tribes that once lived there… and there is a bronze marker near Lake Harriet, just below the historic streetcar station and near the historic hand pump across the street from the pavillion and bandshell, marking the first school in the area, Lake Harriet Mission School. It was founded in 1835 to serve the children of the Dakota settlement.

lake harriet-first school

Lake Harriet was the first Minneapolis lake to be encircled by a roadway, completed in 1886. Its popularity today pales in comparison to what it was 100 years ago, when the streetcar line stopped by the lake and a series of grand pavilions attracted crowds for concerts… ostrich and pony rides… and hundreds of rental boats lined the west shore of the lake.

lake harriet-evening view

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – shensrud@homesmsp.com

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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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