Luxton Park, Glendale Townhomes, and a Missing Link

About a year and a half ago, I walked around the Luxton Park area for the first time. The park itself wasn’t really kept up by the city including lots of trash and litter, and an almost unplayable soccer pitch combined with an unkept softball diamond. It certainly looks nicer now including the new playground. The pitch is better too, but harder to tell as there is currently light snow covering it.

Luxton Park

Current Luxton Park photo from Arthur Pl and Williams Ave SE

The nearby Glendale Townhomes residents and neighbors have been worried for the last few years, and for good reasons. Wondering if their places are going to be torn down in lieu of new luxury type condos has been one main fear. They’re definitely resistant while defending Glendale’s public housing and ejects all of MPHA’s privatization plans.

There is some winter promise though since putting together a quality maintenance program including a combined weatherization project to help heat their homes more efficiently. A pilot has been successful and I’m not sure of the exact completion date.

For Luxton Park behind the townhomes, anytime I’ve walked there including the other day, it’s just kind of tucked away, somewhat invisible and unnoticed towards an I94 noise wall.

To help make it attractive both from the park, maybe they should invest to make it look more like the Hwy 52 noise walls in South St. Paul or other areas across Minnesota. 
At an imperfect cost but slick alternatives are clear, plastic noise-barrier walls that MNDOT at least seems to partially pay for. I’m really interested in learning more about this alternative. Drivers passing on I94 could then be able to visibly see the park as they speed by there.

In another real example, a visual I35W point at the Minnehaha Parkway to help let drivers know there’s some recreation down there:

This is literally transparency.

Regarding Luxton Park and Glendale Townhomes, this looks promising for both residents and folks passing through. Here’s a Jessica Lee tweet including route proposals to a Grand Rounds Missing Link Minnpost piece. The tweet and piece is a great read.

Met Council Member Cara Letofsky is looking forward to vote on this in 2019 as residents here deserve easy recreational trail access.

I’m very excited that this could get completed, in part, because it’s slated through a part of the city that’s not really accessible to your everyday Minneapolitan,” she said. “It’s one of these projects, like Southwest Light Rail, that takes years and years and years to get done.

I’m really big on this. The neighborhood just has a few main entrances/exits, most well-known is toward University Ave SE. It would be nice to see riders, walkers, and rollers be able to stop here and and the park, and for neighborhood residents to have easy similar access to areas across Minneapolis. Part of the missing link may cross from the Black Veil Falls area to right by Luxton Park. I have a tougher time visualizing this. But, I’m not a planner.

The passed Minneapolis 2040 plan (hat tip to Lisa Bender for leading and Wedge LIVE for reporting) in general can only help all of this. Continued advocacy between groups, elected officials and residents can make this neighborhood rightfully better for all. Your comments are always more than welcome.

4 thoughts on “Luxton Park, Glendale Townhomes, and a Missing Link

  1. Clark Starr

    Thanks for this piece. I grew up in Prospect Park and spent much of my childhood at Luxton (this was the good old days when sports were park-based, not association-based). This meant we (professor kids in PP) played sports and went to school with kids from Glendale (“the projects” back then). I know Pratt has been re-opened for several (many?) years now, curious if this sort of integration still happens in the neighborhood.

    Sad to see there’s no ice rink there. That was one of my favorite things, walking down to Luxton and skating.

    1. Paul JahnPaul Jahn Post author

      Thanks Clark. It’s great to learn more from folks who grew up there. I had no idea that there was an ice rink there. Not having one is a travesty IMHO. Turns out the same thing happened w/ the rink down the street I grew up skating.

  2. Serafina ScheelSerafina Scheel

    Nice piece on the intersection of several issues at once. I live nearby, and Luxton is such an important part of the community. The East of the River Master Planning process has some great ideas for improving the park, including expanding to the area at the bottom of the stairs along 27th Ave., which is currently owned by the City and the railroads. It would take some coordination, but would better connect up with the planned Grand Rounds route, and help the area better connect to the University. For me, the biggest drawback of the park is the noise pollution.

  3. commissar

    i don’t even know why they still have the rail bridge there. it doesn’t go anywhere. maybe convert it to a trail or greenway. i honestly think the whole length off the main line is just used for rail car storage. although, on the sane token, im not sure how much better access a conversion to a greenway would provide.

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