What's in a (Street) Name?

With a St. Louis Park street set to get renamed, it seems like a good time for some trivia on local streets.

St. Louis Park is getting a new street—sort of.

At the request of , 25 1/2 Street West—which is located just north of the synagogue—will be renamed Barry Street West, in honor of donors Charles and Melanie Barry (namesakes of the Barry Family Campus at the ).

City Council approved the change unanimously at a meeting last week, and new signage is expected to be up in about a month.

This name change got us thinking about St. Louis Park street names in general, which got us thinking about something fun—trivia! Check out our 10 questions on SLP street names, then post your answers in the comments below.

  1. What was the original name of Excelsior Boulevard?
  2. Which local street was named after a book about a Civil War battle?
  3. What was the original name of Louisiana Avenue?
  4. What does Minnetonka mean?
  5. Before a street name ordinance in 1933 cleared things up, there five separate instances of what street in St. Louis Park?
  6. Joppa is a Biblical name of a city in which modern-day country?
  7. Before Highway 169 was designated as a highway, it was an avenue with what name?
  8. What two streets combine to form the name of a local park, neighborhood, bowling alley and shopping center?
  9. Mayor Rufus R. Rand requested and received what street name in 1931?
  10. A name and ownership change at a local car dealership resulted in what St. Louis Park street name?
Robert Larsen September 14, 2012 at 02:20 PM
3. I don't know the correct spelling, but my mother used to refer to Louisiana avenue as "Falvee". 6. Joppa is in Israel. 8. Texa-Tonka
Richard Novak September 14, 2012 at 02:59 PM
7. 169 was Mendelsohn Blvd
Athena Carlson September 14, 2012 at 03:02 PM
4: "Minnetonka" means "big water" or "great water" (something along those lines) from the Ojibwe language!
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Good job, Robert! And Richard, do you have a reference on that? Because the answer I'm thinking of is different. I could be wrong (or, perhaps we're both right...name could have changed twice)
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 03:03 PM
And PS - No prizes or anything for this. Just for fun!
Reg Dunlap September 14, 2012 at 03:37 PM
2. Gettysburg??? 10. Lupient Drive?
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Reg, I guess Gettysburg works, though it's not specifically what I was looking for. Let's say there are two answers to No. 2! Can you get the other one? And No. 10 is incorrect
Barbara Aslakson September 14, 2012 at 04:13 PM
How about why Burd Place is not Wyoming Avenue?
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Hmm...that's a good one Barbara...I'm not sure!
Amanda Mason September 14, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Stephens Drive along Hwy 100 changed to Westside Drive for the Volkswagen dealership.
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Ding ding ding....that's spot on!
Robert Larsen September 14, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Some more trivia: Westside Volkswagen was originally Archie D. Walker Imported Motors. It was built in about 1960. I grew up in that neighborhood.
Ted Meland September 14, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I always thought that before it was 169 it was called Jordan Avenue and it was also Highway 18.
Ted Meland September 14, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I grew up on Sumter Avenue and have long wondered why it was called that. All the Most of the other streets in thatalpahbet are named after states or provinces. Why did one get named after a Fort?
Ted Meland September 14, 2012 at 07:52 PM
5. There 5 Summit Avenues in SLP
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Ted, Jordan Ave. was what I was looking for. Good job!
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 08:37 PM
That is correct!
Heather G September 14, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Indirectly related to the subject...I had a conversation with my daughter about why SLP has, "Hampshire Ave," instead of, "Hawaii Ave." Having lived in MN/SLP for only 5 yrs, but knowing these streets were named a long time ago, I always assumed Hawaii was not a state yet when that grid was named. Am I right?
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Heather, far as I can tell, SLP streets were—by and large—named in 1933 when council passed an ordinance. So yes, you're right on Hawaii not being a state yet. Good catch!
Michael Rose (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Did some research...it appears as if the neighborhood petitioned to keep the name, in honor of Mrs. Burd and her family, who lived in the area.
Ted Meland September 15, 2012 at 04:08 AM
A book about a Civil War Battle? Gettysburg was a battle, and I suspect there are propably more than one book with that title. But the Gettysburg would mor properly be named after the battle, not a book. Is there a street called "Gettysburg -- Volume One?" hehehe
Ted Meland September 15, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Is there a street called "Red Badge of Courage"? OK, I know, now I'm getting silly.
Ted Meland September 15, 2012 at 01:22 PM
SLP has both a North and a South Street. But those aren't the names of battles. Nor books about battles. Natchez?
Michael Rose (Editor) September 15, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Ted, there is a book called "Action at Aquila" that was the inspiration for Aquila Ave
Ted Meland September 16, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Michael, you're saying that Aquila Avenue is named for the book, "Action at Aquila"? Thus, it is named for a book about a Civil War battle? I disagree. "Action at Aquila", as far as I can determine, is a novel. Thus it is fiction. I can find no reference anywhere to an actual Battle of Aquila. Do you have evidence of such a battle?
Michael Rose (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 12:09 AM
This is what I have from the SLP Historical Society: "Mrs. Marlys Westling ... originally wanted to name it Aragon, but it was deemed too close to Oregon. Then she found a book called Action at Aquila, which described a Civil War battle where eight men were killed. The 1938 novel was written by Hervey Allen (who also wrote Anthony Adverse in 1933, which Warner Bros. made into a major motion picture in 1936, starring Fredric March, Olivia de Havilland, Claude Rains, and Gale Sondergard, and directed by Mervyn LeRoy)."
Ted Meland September 17, 2012 at 05:30 AM
My point is that your question was faulty. It should have read: "What street is named for a book about a fictitious Civil War battle?" BTW--I found a copy of the book online currently for sale for $2,000. Autographed by the author with an inscription to his friend, Robert Frost.


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