From mansion-studded boulevard to "freeway" to urban renewal, the Minneapolis street has a rich history.
Late 1800s-early 1900s: Park was a stylish boulevard lined with architect-designed homes on generous lots. "It was the Summit Avenue of Minneapolis in its day," said resident and architectural historian Ryan Knoke.
More than 30 opulent mansions owned by prominent businessmen, including Frank and George Peavey, Anson Brooks and Charles Harrington, lined the "Golden Mile," which was north of 28th Street on Park Avenue S. Upper-class professionals lived in smaller, but elegant homes between 28th and 38th Streets.
In its heyday, Park Avenue showcased an impressive range of architectural styles, from Queen Anne to Venetian Gothic, designed by notable architects and builders including Harry Wild Jones, William Channing Whitney and Kees and Colburn.
1940s-'60s: In response to increased car traffic, the city of Minneapolis converted Park's original 36-foot-wide, two-way roadway into a one-way artery. In 1956, the city widened it, eliminating the grand boulevard green space. Park and Portland Avenues became urban freeways -- pre-Interstate 35W-- to accommodate traffic to the suburbs.
"Heavy traffic started the decline," said Knoke. "Wealthy families moved out to places like Lake Minnetonka."
Urban renewal projects resulted in many of the grand mansions being demolished to make room for modern commercial buildings.
Today: Only eight Park Avenue mansions remain and are owned by organizations and businesses. Most of the other architecturally striking residences south of 28th Street remain single-family homes, many of which have been restored.
Fun fact: In the early 1900s, a Parade of Autos was held each June, giving proud Park Avenue residents a chance to show off their new "horseless carriages."Source: Ryan Knoke