1524 Aldrich Ave. N
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Nearby Recreation Center: North Commons Recreation Center
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Name: The park was named for Elizabeth Hall School adjacent to the park, which was built in 1960. Elizabeth Hall was a teacher who served as assistant superintendent for elementary education for Minneapolis schools 1911-1934. In 1979 the park board requested public input to rename the park. The city council passed a resolution to ask the board to name it for council member and former park commissioner Louis DeMars, but the neighborhood ultimately decided to keep the name of the school.
Acquisition and Development
The Hall neighborhood was identified in a 1938 study of the city’s playground needs as one of five neighborhoods that had an “acute” need for a playground, but was unable to pay the costs of acquiring land and developing a park through property assessments. Studies in 1944 and 1965 repeated the recommendation for a playground in the neighborhood.
The park board took a tiny step toward a Hall Park in 1968 when it built a totlot at Hall School. In 1970 the board applied for federal funds to acquire five new parks in the city, but only three of those projects were approved. Three parks on the near southside received federal funding, but the Hall project did not.
The creation of more than a totlot in the area had to wait until the Minneapolis housing authority began a program of urban renewal in the neighborhood. In 1977, six acres of land adjoining the school were acquired from the housing authority for a park. Plans for a playground park, including a shelter, were approved shortly after and construction of the park began. Most park improvements were completed in 1979, but construction of the shelter stretched into 1980. The total cost of the shelter was $83,598.
The most recent improvements to the park were begun in 2003 and completed in 2004.
Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.