1115 St. Anthony Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Nearby Recreation Center: Audubon Recreation Center
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Major investments in 2018 were made possible with funding from the 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan. This historic agreement between MPRB and the City of Minneapolis helps address racial and economic equity across 160 neighborhood parks and provides $11 million annually to maintain, repair and replace facilities.
Name: The park is named for Portius Deming who was a park commissioner 1895-1899 and 1909-1919. He served as president of the board 1915-1917. Deming was among the group of northeast Minneapolis businessmen that organized the sale to the park board of the land for Columbia Park in 1892. The first land for Deming Heights Park was acquired in 1913 to be a part of St. Anthony Boulevard. Deming was the one who had proposed the name St. Anthony Boulevard for the northeast Minneapolis parkway. It wasn’t until 1923 that the board named the land Grandview Park to distinguish it from the rest of the parkway. The park was officially named Portius C. Deming Heights Park in 1930 and a plaque commemorating Deming’s service to Minneapolis parks was placed in the park that summer.
Acquisition and Development
The first land for the park was acquired in 1913 along with the rest of the land for St. Anthony Boulevard from Columbia Park to East Hennepin Avenue. The land was desired because it was the highest point in the Minneapolis park system. At 963 feet above sea level it is ten feet higher in elevation than Sunset Hill on Memorial Parkway north of Wirth Park.
Writing in the 1914 annual report, park board president Thomas Voegeli commented on the “great natural beauty” of the land through which the new St. Anthony Boulevard would pass. Voegeli wrote that the view from the highest point in the city at yet-to-be-named Deming Heights Park, could “fill the hearts of Minneapolis citizens with patriotic pride.”
The park board acquired several additional lots on the south edge of the park and the southwest corner to remove houses that impaired the view of the city from the park in 1916. In 1919 the park board acquired from the city council control of 31st Avenue Northeast from Polk Street to Johnson Street, which enabled the construction of the double-lane parkway between Taylor and Fillmore streets.
The parkway through the park and all the way south and east to East Hennepin Avenue was begun in 1921 and completed in 1924. The parkway from Central Avenue into Deming Heights Park required a steep 11 percent grade.
Since its acquisition the park has been treated as a section of St. Anthony Parkway and its acreage included with that of the parkway. With Columbia Park located just two short blocks to the east and Audubon Park two blocks south, the neighborhood already was considered to be well-provided with recreation amenities, so none were ever added to Deming Heights Park. The land was acquired for the view it provided and therefore little has been done in the way of park improvements since its acquisition.
Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.