2500 Cedar Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Nearby Recreation Center: East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
Size: 1.89 acres
Neighborhood: East Phillips
Service Area: South
Master Plan: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff is currently working with community stakeholders to develop a master plan for Cedar Avenue Field Park. After the plan is finalized, it will be added to the South Service Area Master Plan. Please contact Adam Arvidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-230-6470 for more information.
In the park's early days, it was used by baseball and football teams of the original South High School, which used to be located across the street.
Name: The park was named for its location on Cedar Avenue.
Acquisition and Development
When the park board received petitions from residents in the summer of 1916 for a park in the area, it turned to man who had helped them in the past. The board wrote to David Stewart of St. Albans, Maine and asked if he’d be willing to donate the land for the park. It was a logical, if hopeful, request. In 1912, Stewart had donated six lots valued at $4,000 to complete the acquisition of Stewart Field. David Stewart had inherited the land from his brother, Levi Stewart, an early pioneer and large landowner in Minneapolis. David Stewart donated the land in memory of his brother and Stewart Field was subsequently named for his brother.
David Stewart once again responded favorably to a request from the park board and on October 20, 1916 he donated 1.89 acres of land for Cedar Avenue Field. At the time the park board placed a value on the donation of $10,000. When the park board received the donation, it approved discussions with the original petitioners for a park to see if they would be willing to be assessed for the cost of acquiring the southern half of the block to add to Stewart’s gift. There is no record of further contact with those petitioners on the matter. On December 2, 1916 the park board named the small park across 25th Street from the original South High School, Cedar Avenue Field.
In response to requests for improving the land in 1919, the park board authorized spending up to $1,000 to improve the empty ground for a small combination baseball and football field. The action came in response to two requests by the alderman for the district for improvements, as well as a request from the coach at South High School for his teams to be able to use the field. The grading was delayed in hopes that the neighborhood would agree to pay for more extensive improvements.
The board’s 1919 annual report presented a plan for the park, which included a playground for children, a small shelter and wading pool. The layout provided “room for such games as small children may play.” The estimated cost of the plan was $30,000, which would have been assessed against property owners in the area, who were evidently unwilling to pay. The following year the field was graded for a ball field and a backstop and benches were installed, as well as a sandbox for children. Playground equipment was installed in 1921.
Cedar Avenue Field was upgraded in 1969 with the installation of playground equipment and creation of a hard-surfaced play area. The park was renovated again in 2003 with new playground equipment, a basketball court, and landscaping improvements. The hard courts were resurfaced in 2011.
Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.