Placeography:Featured place/2017-04

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Victory Memorial Parkway, Minneapolis,Minnesota

Originally called Glenwood-Camden Parkway, the acquisition of the land for Victory Memorial Parkway began in 1910. Construction was stopped in the spring of 1917 as World War I reduced resources and money. During this delay in the construction, Theodore Wirth and Charles Loring decided to create a Victory Memorial Drive and Park. In the 1918 annual Minneapolis Parks Department report, Wirth discussed the use of “long parallel rows of stately trees” as a commemoration of the fallen Minnesota soldiers of World War I. Before each tree would be a monument to the soldier it represented. Minneapolis Parks Department's landscape architect Phelps Wyman created the design. The Parkway was dedicated on June 11, 1921. When completed, it was just over four miles long. In subsequent years, flags and wreaths were placed at the trees by the American Legion on Memorial Day. In 1996, in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Victory Memorial Parkway, it was rededicated to all Hennepin County soldiers lost their lives while serving their country. In 2004, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board developed a Master Plan for the restoration and preservation of the Parkway. In 2003 Victory Memorial Parkway became a state historic district. In 2006 a Task Force was formed to write a master restoration plan. New trees were planted, granite stonework replaced and plaques refurbished. When the work was completed, the Parkway was re-dedicated on June 11, 2011, 90 years after it originally dedicated.

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