Mn/DOT initiated and co-sponsored a two-day course where experts presented theoretical and practical applications for masonry restoration. Courtesy of Olene Bigelow, IMI.
Outreach + Education
Communication + Partnerships
Mn/DOT realizes one of its best preservation tools is communication,
both with its own staff and the public. As more people become aware of
the significance of historic roadside facilities, more efforts will be
taken to preserve these properties for future generations to experience
In late 2001 Mn/DOT received an Honor Award from the Preservation Alliance
of Minnesota, a statewide non-profit preservation advocacy group. The
award recognized the inventory final report, titled Historic Roadside Development
Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways, for its innovation as a planning
document and honored Mn/DOT's stewardship toward the roadside facilities
under its jurisdiction.
Mn/DOT has ensured that each of its eight district offices located throughout the state has essential information about its historic roadside facilities. Each office has access to the inventory files for its properties and has a copy of the final report that explains the sites' value within the collection. District staff also received a widely distributed memo requesting that maintenance and construction staff consult the Cultural Resources Unit before undertaking any projects in or near the properties. District personnel are also participating in the development of the preservation planning documents to ensure that they are practical and well-received at all levels of the Department.
Over the years, several of Mn/DOT’s original wayside rests have
been transferred to municipalities so that they now serve as small city
parks. Mn/DOT’s study will also help these stewards evaluate their
properties’ historical significance and take steps to preserve and
Mn/DOT developed a video documentary explaining the history of Highway
100 west of Minneapolis. The highway was one of Minnesota's largest New
Deal relief projects where a 12-mile section was elaborately landscaped
by the Roadside Development Division. The video serves as mitigation to
document portions of the highway that will be lost to new construction.
The documentary includes historic photographs, live footage taken during
construction, and interviews with workers, engineers, and neighborhood
residents who were associated with its construction. Minnesota's Twin
Cities Public Television produced the program and broadcast it regionally.
It is possible that, if the roadside development study had been completed
before plans for the highway reconstruction, more of the historic features
would have been save
Mn/DOT is also participating in joint promotional efforts with tourism
groups and historical societies. It is developing a program in which local
groups can "adopt" an historic wayside rest. A new brochure
will teach the public about historic roadside facilities. The first in
a new series of interpretive signs has been installed at Mn/DOT's newly-rehabilitated
Orr Roadside Parking Area.