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Over the years in Longfellow & Nokomis neighborhoods

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

by Iric Nathanson

   During its nearly 40-year history, the Messenger has chronicled the major events in Longfellow and Nokomis. Here are some of the highlights during those years.
January 1983
A newspaper for Longfellow
A newspaper is being developed to serve the people, institutions and business enterprises of the Longfellow neighborhood. This introduces the Longfellow Messenger.

April 1984
Police station plan unveiled
Longfellow community resident and the Third Precinct police force will soon have a new precinct building…to be located on Lake Street between Minnehaha and Snelling Avenues

May 1986
Longfellow Messenger to be sold
The Messenger’s creators, Bill and Maureen Milbrath, are selling the paper to DeRuyter Nelson Publications, publisher of the Midway/Como Monitor in St. Paul.

February 1988
Nokomis residents organize neighborhood organization
On January 7, about 50 people from four Nokomis neighborhoods- Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park and Wenonah met at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church to organize the Nokomis Neighborhood Awareness Council

June 1990
New Lake Street bridge collapses
The uncompleted east arch for the new Lake Street bridge collapsed at 7:30 PM on Thursday, April 24. Robert Moser, the 45-year-old construction foreman, was killed when the arch fell into the Mississippi River.

January 1992
Funds earmarked to speed completion of Hiawatha Avenue
When completed sometime after 1996, the Hiawatha project will provide a rebuilt roadway for Highway 55 between downtown Minneapolis and the Crosstown Highway 62

August 1994
Longfellow House finds new home in Minnehaha Park.
The historic Longfellow House was moved to a new site in Minnehaha Park about one block southwest of its original location. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board owns the vacant building and plans to renovate it.

December 1995
Longfellow residents ratify NRP plan at community meeting
The $9.3 million Neighborhood Revitalization Plan establishes an ambitious five-year improvement program for the Longfellow, Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha neighborhoods.

July 1996
Vocal opposition to Hiawatha Avenue rerouting organizes to stop plans
The Park and River Alliance, is protesting the construction of a new roadway for Hiawatha Avenue south of 52nd Street adjacent to Minnehaha Park.

December 1998
Governor-elect Ventura carries inspirational message to Roosevelt students.
Roosevelt alum Jesse Ventura got a hero’s welcome when he returned to his old high school on November 11 to deliver a rousing pep talk to an enthusiastic group of Roosevelt students.

December 1999
Highway 55’s 700-foot tunnel through Minnehaha Park finally taking shape
When the Highway 55 tunnel is completed in the summer of 2001, southbound motorists will enter the tunnel at a point near the south end of the Minnehaha Mall and exit about 200 feet north of Minnehaha Creek.

July 2003
Fire ravages West River Commons construction
Fire engulfed the new West River Commons project under construction at the corner of Lake and West River Parkway in the early morning hours of June 24. The blaze became a three-alarm fire and continued to smolder through the morning hours.

June 2004
Hiawatha Light Rail ready to roll June 26 despite delay
After a delay of nearly three months, the Hiawatha Light Rail line will finally open for business on June 26. The Hiawatha line will include four stations in the Longfellow-Nokomis neighborhoods.

October 2007
Dramatic New Greenway Bridge Nears Completion
The Greenway bridge, named for former Congressman Martin Sabo, will eliminate the need for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the difficult intersection at 28th and Hiawatha

Mary 2010
Longfellow community seeks answers in the wake of Lake Street fire
About 200 people gathered on April 18 to pay their respects the six victims of the fire at 3000 East Lake Street

March 2012
Development underway along Hiawatha corridor
Station 38 is the latest in a growing list of transit-oriented developments at stations along the 12-mile Hiawatha LRT line

January 2014
Minnehaha Avenue reconstruction get green light
The Minneapolis City Council voted in December to give its consent for Hennepin County’s proposed reconstruction of Minnehaha Avenue

September 2017
An explosion destroyed a section of Minnehaha Academy and killed two
A devastating gas explosion at the Minnehaha Academy Upper School on August 2 killed two staff members and destroyed the oldest section of the school facility built in 1913.

May 2019
Messenger, Monitor papers transition to new ownership
Calvin deRuyter and Tim Nelson of deRuyter Nelson Publications have sold their two neighborhood newspapers to Tesha M. Christensen, who has written for the two papers for almost the last eight years.

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