The Cascade River Overlook linked visitors to extensive foot trails in Cascade State Park and along Lake Superior.

Historic + Contemporary Resources


Annual Report of the Accomplishments of Roadside Development Along the Trunk Highways in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Highways, 1938.

Annual Report of the Accomplishments of Roadside Development Along the Trunk Highways in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Highways, 1939.

Good, Albert H., ed. Park and Recreation Structures. 3 vols. Washington, DC: National Park Service, 1938.

Guide to Historic Markers Erected by the State Highway Department, Cooperating with the Minnesota Historical Society. Prepared by the Minnesota Historical Records Survey, Work Projects Administration (WPA). St. Paul: May 1940.

Nichols, A.R., comp. Album of Roadside Development Projects. 7 vols. Photo albums prepared for the Roadside Development Division, Minnesota Department of Highways, circa 1937-1941. Site Development Unit, Minnesota Department of Transportation.


This postcard caption describes the view from Duluth's Thompson Hill-Skyline Parkway Overlook as "so exceptional in scope that it is impossible to photograph it properly."

Nichols, A.R. “Highway Design: Its Relation to Landscape Objectives.” Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Highway Research Board. December 1937.

Nichols, A.R. “Landscape Design in Highway Development.” Landscape Architecture, April 1940. The article is followed by a series of responses written by engineers and planners Harlean James, Roy W. Crum, S. Herbert Hare, Jac L. Gubbels, F.C. Lang, and Jay Downer.

Minnesota Park, Parkway and Recreational Area Study. Minnesota Department of Conservation, Division of State Parks. September 1938.

Minnesota State Park and Recreational Area Plan. Minnesota Department of Conservation, Division of State Parks, March 1939.

Nolen, John and Henry V. Hubbard. Parkways and Land Values. Harvard City Planning Studies, vol. 11. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1937. The authors hoped that parkways would "become the framework for a new town-and-country community by providing a practical means for a better distribution of population." The study focuses on parkways in Boston, MA; Kansas City, MO; and Westchester County, NY. It advocated the creation of parkways elsewhere in the country. Illustrated.

Olson, Harold E., comp. Historical Markers in Minnesota. 4 vols. Photo albums prepared by the Roadside Development Division, Minnesota Department of Highways, circa 1942, updated circa 1954. Site Development Unit, Minnesota Department of Transportation.


Anderson, Rolf T. “Federal Relief Construction in Minnesota, 1933-1941.” National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form. October 9, 1990; amended August 30, 1993; amended December 2001 by Susan Granger, Scott Kelly and Kay Grossman, Gemini Research.

Birnbaum, Charles A. with Christine Capella Peters. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Cultural Resource Stewardship and Partnerships Heritage Preservation Services, Historic Landscape Initiative, Washington, DC, 1996. Applies the Standards and preservation planning principles to historic and cultural landscapes. Includes a number of historic road examples.


CCC workers at the Gooseberry Falls Concourse. Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Hughes and Prudhomme Collection.

Granger, Susan, Scott Kelly and Kay Grossman. Gemini Research. Historic Roadside Development Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways. Minnesota Department of Transportation, December 1998. Cultural resource study whose goal was to inventory all roadside development properties on current Mn/DOT right-of-way that contain pre-1961 standing structures and to evaluate National Register eligibility.

Henning, Barbara J. Phases I and II Cultural Resource Historical Investigation: TH 100 (Lilac Way) S.P. 2743. Prepared for Minnesota Department of Transportation by Rivercrest Associates, Inc., September 1997.

Leach, Sara Amy. "Documenting Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway." CRM 16, no. 3 (1993): pp. 5-7. Pilot project producing drawings, photographs and written narratives. Development of digitized mapping and interpretive drawings from photogrammetric photographs. Illustrated.

Leach, Sara Amy. "HABS/HAER Documents Automotive Corridors." CRM 16, no. 6 (1993): pp. 26-27. Documentation of parks roads, parkways and urban thoroughfares including Rock Creek Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, L'Enfant-McMillan Plan, Washington, DC, and the Merritt Parkway, Conn.

Morell and Nichols Collection. Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Marriott, Paul Daniel. Saving Historic Roads: Design and Policy Guidelines. Preservation Press and John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, 1998. Strategies for identifying, preserving and protecting historic designed and constructed roads. Issues surrounding road treatment, an introduction to engineering and highway design language, planning and management guidelines. Many national examples.

Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. Highway 100: Lilac Way (video), documentary video. 2001.

The Taylors Falls Overlook was designed to offer spectacular views up and down the St. Croix River Valley.

Developing the Idea

This statewide research and planning project transpired from the need to establish priorities and guidelines to preserve historic structures in rest areas. Mn/DOT employees Carol Reamer, Safety Rest Area Program Manager; Joe Hudak, Cultural Resources Unit Chief; and Dennis Adams, Environmental Studies Unit Chief developed the idea and solicited funding for the project.

To complete this project, Mn/DOT utilized ISTEA and TEA-21 Enhancement and state funds authorized by the Commissioner of Transportation’s staff. The Commissioner’s office has continued to support historic roadside development preservation by funding the treatment reports, the upcoming management plan, and educational maintenance materials that are currently under development.

Mn/DOT formed an interagency team to guide the inventory project. Team members included Reamer, Hudak, and Adams; Susan Roth and Dennis Gimmestad from the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office; and Mn/DOT staff members Alyson Brooks and Karl Weissenborn.

Reamer provided project oversight and administration for all aspects of the project. Project managers have included Reamer, Greg Pates, and Liz Walton. At the National Park Service, Historic Landscape Initiative, Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, editor of the on-line Currents series provided editorial comments and orchestrated peer review. The NPS is grateful to The Cultural Landscape Foundation whose board provided review comments.

Numerous Mn/DOT employees statewide have provided technical assistance and assisted with data collection. Rob Williams and Jackie Sluss have provided ongoing technical support in data base management and historic properties reviews.

The Gemini Research team consists of Susan Granger, Scott Kelly, and Kay Grossman. Susan Granger of Gemini Research was the principal investigator. Gemini Research conducted the inventory; developed the new historic context to evaluate the properties, wrote the final report, and continues to assist Mn/DOT in planning the future of the properties.

Rolf Anderson, a Minneapolis, Minnesota historian, wrote this article for the Minnesota Department of Transportation with assistance from Liz Walton and Gemini Research.

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs and drawings are courtesy of Mn/DOT.

| New Deal Home