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Linden Hills Neighborhood

Linden Hills Neighborhood

Linden Hills is a neighborhood in the Southwest community of Minneapolis on a hill overlooking Lake Harriet. It was one of the last areas to be developed in the City of Minneapolis. A majority of the land around where neighborhood is today was cottages and open land until the 1870s. The area started growing following the extension of the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line through the neighborhood. It gained a reputation as popular destination area for the young and wealthy of Minneapolis to get away from the city.

It is bordered to the north by Bde Maka Ska and West 36th Street, to the east by Lake Harriet and William Berry Parkway, to the south by West 47th Street, and to the west by France Avenue.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 7,370 people in the neighborhood, of whom 94% were white, 1% were black, 0.5% were Native American, 2% were Asian American/Pacific Islander, and 2.5% were other/two or more races.

The Lake Harriet Bandshell is located on the lakeshore on the eastern edge of the neighborhood. The current bandshell, constructed in 1985, is a fifth-generation music venue on the lake. The first two were destroyed by fire, the third was destroyed by a wind storm, and the fourth was demolished in 1985. The main platform and carbarn of the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line are also located in the neighborhood, near West 42nd Street and Queen Avenue.

The neighborhood’s commercial corridor, centering on Upton Avenue and 43rd Street, was constructed along the Como-Harriet streetcar line in the 1920s, and is today home to many shops and dining establishments, including one of the first Great Harvest franchises,[4] Heartfelt Craft Studio, Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream Café, Wild Rumpus Bookstore, New Gild Jewelers, the Zumbro Café, Naviya’s Thai Bistro, Harriet Brasserie, Coffee & Tea Ltd, Dunn Brothers Coffee and Tilia. It was the home of the second location of what became the Famous Dave’s restaurant chain in 1995 and was designed like an old-fashioned BBQ shack; it was closed in 2014 after the property was sold for redevelopment into a denser mixed-use project of condominiums and retail.[5]

The Linden Hills area was featured in a scene of the 1996 film Jingle All The Way.

Southwest High School is located at the southern edge of the neighborhood on West 47th Street between Abbott and Chowen Avenues.

Cooler by the Lakes
Bordered by two of the city’s most popular lakes (Bde Maka Ska and Lake Harriet), Linden Hills residents know how to have a good time on and off the water. There’s plenty of rich history here, too, as the neighborhood started buzzing when the Como-Harriet streetcar line began rolling through in the 1920s (you can still take a nostalgic ride today). Just steps away from the line, the commercial hub of the neighborhood thrives with fabulous cafes and a vast array of indie shops.

Things to Do
There are countless ways to play at Lake Harriet, part of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Nearly 3 miles of pedestrian and bike trails circle the perimeter and pass some of the city’s most stunning homes. No matter where you’re at on the lake, it’s hard to miss the castle-like Band Shell, complete with turrets. Here, you’ll find a full lineup of free concerts and movies through the summer, plus sunrise yoga facing the lake every morning from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

During warmer weather, lounge on three beaches, get active on the soccer and softball fields or sand volleyball court, and rent bikes—in addition to canoes, kayaks and paddle boats—through Wheel Fun Rentals.

As the chill sets in and the lake freezes over, the area continues to draw outdoor enthusiasts even on the coldest days. You may spot people ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowkiting, and skijoring across the frozen surface. Each February, the sky above the lake is festooned with a rainbow of kites both large and small during the annual Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival.

A stone’s throw from the lake’s western shoreline, The Bakken Museum offers a treasure trove of science and technology discoveries. The only Smithsonian-affiliated museum in the state features immersive experiences including Frankenstein’s Laboratory. “Meet” author Mary Shelley and watch Frankenstein’s famous monster come to life.

Decades before the Light Rail came to town, commuters hopped aboard streetcars to get from home to work and back. The Minnesota Streetcar Museum offers rides aboard the beautifully restored trolleys. Hop on the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line for a scenic tour between the lakes, and enjoy a full calendar of annual events, from Vinternatt holiday rides to the Trick ‘r Trolley each Halloween.

On the western edge of the neighborhood at France Avenue and 44th Street, get your wine and cheese fix at the aptly named France 44. This family-run destination has specialized in a worldly selection of wines, beers and spirits—plus ethically sourced cheeses—for over 60 years. Sign up for a personalized tasting for up to 8 wine and cheese lovers, or dig deeper with one of their enlightening courses focused on a variety of foods and beverages.

Farther south on France, around 50th Street, more character-filled shops—along with restaurants and an indie movie theater—reinforce this area’s must-visit status.


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