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After years of being a streetcar suburb, Edina grew into a prototypical post-war suburb in the 1950s. The city was largely built to be car-centric and plays host to the nation's oldest indoor mall, the Southdale Center. The object of white flight from Minneapolis, Edina embraced sundown laws and racial covenants to keep the community white and wealthy. By the late 1990s, Edina had garnered a negative reputation as a predominantly wealthy community and as a center of conservative sentiment in traditionally liberal Minnesota.
Since 2000, Edina has become increasingly diverse and progressive. No longer a Republican stronghold, the city is represented at the state and national levels by DFLers. Major corporations, such as Dairy Queen, Great Clips, Edina Realty, and Caribou Coffee, have made their headquarters in Edina, and the city today is known for its shopping, parks, and high quality of life.
Edina Cinema, a theater in downtown Edina that opened in 1934, but closed in 2020.
Edina began as part of Richfield Township, Minnesota. By the 1870s, 17 families, most of them immigrating as a result of the Great Famine of Ireland, had come to Minnesota and claimed land in the southwest section of what was then Richfield Township. They were followed by settlers from New England and Germany, who claimed additional land near Minnehaha Creek. The Baird and Grimes neighborhoods (which are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places) and the Country Club District (then known as Waterville Mills) in the northeast part of Edina were among the first areas to be established. The area then known as the Cahill Settlement, at West 70th Street and Cahill Road, was also an early community center and the home of Cahill School.
In 1888, the residents of the township held a meeting to consider founding a new village, thus separating themselves from Richfield Township. The idea was favorably accepted by those within the community and a committee was established to oversee the transition.
After the decision was made to form a new village, a debate ensued regarding the naming of the new village. Several town meetings were held in the Minnehaha Grange Hall, during which the names Hennepin Park, Westfield and Edina were suggested. Minutes taken by Henry F. Brown, a farmer and future owner (1889) of the Edina Mill, are summarized as follows:
A long debate ensued with regard to the name by which the corporation shall be called. A motion was made and passed to reconsider the vote taken at the previous meeting of the name of the proposed village, Westfield. Another motion was then made by Andrew Craik to call the proposed village Edina (upon moving to the township in 1869 from Edinburgh, he bought and renamed the mill to the Edina Mill). Before the motion could be decided, James A. Bull, a member of the five person committee, made another motion to adjourn, which was seconded by the majority. However, the chairman of the meeting called this motion out of order, at which time disorder ensued with Baird, Wilson, Ryan and Bull declaring their intent to no longer serve as members of the committee if a gag law was to prevail. During this heated moment the meeting became somewhat boisterous until, after a few minutes order was restored. Seeing that no more work could be done at this time, a final motion was made and passed to reschedule the meeting to a future date.
At the next meeting, the name Edina was finally chosen with a vote of 47 for and 42 against.
There has been a prevailing myth about the decision to name the new village Edina, which states that two opposing communities--the Irish Cahill community and the Scottish Mill community--fought about whether to give the community an Irish name (Killarney Lakes) or a Scottish name (Edina). The 1860 census, however, indicates that there were no Scottish people in Edina in 1860, and only a couple were present at the time of Edina's founding (1888).
The first suburban development in Edina occurred during the early 1900s in Morningside, a neighborhood in the northeastern part of the village. As Morningside grew, conflict arose between its residents who wanted more city services, and the residents of the rest of the village who wanted to maintain Edina's rural character. As a result of that conflict, Morningside seceded from Edina in 1920 and became a separate village. In 1966, however, the Village of Morningside once again became part of Edina.
Edina was not the first settlement in its location. According to historian Deborah Morse-Kahn, the Quaker village that existed where Edina would be built included African American families of Civil War veterans and freed slaves "became very involved in community life--especially as farmland owners, civic and cultural leaders." At the November 1898 general election, J. Frank Wheaton, a Republican African American, was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives representing District 42, which included all of Edina. Wheaton beat his white Democratic opponent in every Minneapolis city ward and in every village within the legislative district, including Edina, even though the legislative district had only approximately 100 African American residents out of a total of 40,000 residents.
In the early 20th century suburban development brought discriminatory policies that led to nearly all of the African Americans who had been living in Edina to move away.
No lot shall ever be sold, conveyed, leased, or rented to any person other than one of the white or Caucasian race, nor shall any lot ever be used or occupied by any person other than one of the white or Caucasian race, except such as may be serving as domestics for the owner or tenant of said lot, while said owner or tenant is residing thereon.
-- James W. Loewen, Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism
Other developments, like that built by N. P. Dodge Corporation just a mile away, followed suit in attempting to protect land values through racial policies. Though the Supreme Court ruled these kinds of discriminatory housing clauses unenforceable in its Shelley v. Kraemer decision of 1948, reports of discrimination persisted through the 1950s and 1960s. According to the Edina Historical Society's story about the first black family in Morningside (then a separate village) in 1960, attempts to keep them out included tactics like trying "to get [their] lot condemned for drainage." In response, then-mayor Ken Joyce wrote a note dismissing the drainage concern and challenging citizens "to live the Golden Rule". Shortly thereafter the village voted in favor of inclusion.
Jewish residents were also affected by exclusionary deed covenants. In the 1960s, some residents boasted that Edina had "Not one Negro and not one Jew."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.97 square miles (41.36 km2), of which 15.45 square miles (40.02 km2) is land and 0.52 square miles (1.35 km2) is water.Residential areas comprise the largest portion of the City, which is now more than 95 percent developed.
Within Edina are many different neighborhoods; Highlands, Indian Hills, Morningside, Country Club District, Cahill Village, Chapel Hill, South Harriet Park, Interlachen, Rolling Green, Presidents, Sunnyslope, White Oaks, Parkwood Knolls, Braemar Hills, Birchcrest, Dewey Hill and Hilldale.
As of the 2010 Census, there were 47,941 people, 20,672 households, and 12,918 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,103.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,198.1/km2). There were 22,560 housing units at an average density of 1,460.2 per square mile (563.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.1% White, 3.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.1% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.
There were 20,672 households, of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.5% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.98.
The median age in the city was 45.2 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21% were from 25 to 44; 29.6% were from 45 to 64; and 20.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.6% male and 53.4% female.
According to 2012-2016 estimates, the median household income was $91,847 and per capita income was $65,245. The median value of owner-occupied housing units was $424,500.
Christ Presbyterian Church is a congregation within ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians with 5,388 members in 2012. CPC was founded in 1956. During Roger Anderson's ministry, the church began to grow rapidly. CPC became the largest Presbyterian congregation in the upper Midwest, and one of the largest Presbyterian churches in the nation, with membership passing 1,700. The former senior pastor, John Crosby, led CPC to be a congregation of over 5,000. In 2006, the church celebrated the 50th anniversary. The church was a leader in the movement to establish ECO as a breakaway movement from the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Edina's parkland and open space total more than 1,550 acres (6.3 km2). The Edina Park and Recreation Department oversees 44 parks, which include amenities such as baseball, football and soccer fields; softball diamonds; basketball and tennis courts; outdoor skating rinks; playground equipment for young children; and picnic shelters. The Department also maintains eight miles (13 km) of scenic pathways for bicycling, walking, jogging, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Due in part to its strong boys and girls ice hockey programs, Edina was named by ESPN in 2020 as the "center of the center" of the American ice hockey universe. Since 2016, Edina's Braemar Ice Rink has hosted Da Beauty League, a 4-on-4 ice hockey league with rosters made up of current NHL, AHL, ECHL, and college hockey players wishing to maintain their offseason playing shape.
Many major highways run through or are close to Edina, making it readily accessible to those within the metropolitan area. Minnesota State Highways 62 and 100 divide the City into four sections. U.S. Route 169 and Minnesota State Highway 100 extend north and south. Interstate 494 and Minnesota State Highway 62 extend east and west.
Before streetcar service was abandoned in 1954, the Twin City Rapid Transit Company's Lake Minnetonka Line went through Edina paralleling 44th Street on dedicated right-of-way. After streetcar service was abandoned, the right-of-way was developed as single family housing.
Metro Transit, the Twin Cities regional transit authority, operates daytime buses in Edina, primarily along France Avenue and through business parks along Interstate 494. Edina's Southdale Transit Center is one of the southwest Twin Cities primary transit hubs.
The Dan Patch Line and successor Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway operated interurban service through Edina until 1942. Although in poor condition and rated for speeds less than 35 mph, the tracks are still used by freight trains. Under the Dan Patch Corridor proposal, commuter trains would operate between Minneapolis and Northfield with a station in Edina. A feasibility study was conducted in 2000 and found that ridership would be high but there would be a significant cost to upgrade the corridor for commuter trains. Due to this and strong opposition from residents living near the rail line, the proposal was put on hold until other commuter rail lines could be built. In 2002 a legislative gag order was placed on the project, which forbid the Metropolitan Council, MnDOT, and county rail authorities from discussing, studying, and building commuter rail on the Dan Patch Line. In 2017 the Edina City Council conducted a study on the pros and cons of passenger rail on the Dan Patch Line. The conclusion was to not pursue passenger rail at that time (as of 2018).
The following is a list of notable people who were either born in, lived in, are current residents of, or are otherwise closely associated with the city of Edina:
Lead singer Craig Finn from the band The Hold Steady is from Edina and has made several allusions to the town in their songs. For example, the song "Hornets! Hornets!" from the album Separation Sunday describes a wild night in the town, ending with the line "I drove the wrong way down 169 and almost died up by Edina High". Also, the song's title is a reference to Edina High School's mascot, the Hornet.
In the movie D2: The Mighty Ducks, star forward Adam Banks, when asked his name and where he is from, introduces himself as "Adam Banks Edina, Minnesota".
In the movie Jingle All the Way, some of the exterior house scenes were shot in Edina's Brucewood neighborhood, near Arden Park.
Part of the 1994 movie Little Big League was shot at one of Countryside Park's baseball diamonds. The umpire wears an Edina Athletic Association T-shirt.
^Contact Us. Regis Corporation. Retrieved on January 26, 2011. "Our corporate address: Regis Corporation 7201 Metro Boulevard Minneapolis, MN 55439"
^"Corporate OfficesArchived April 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." Dairy Queen. Retrieved on May 12, 2010. "International Dairy Queen Corporation 7505 Metro Blvd. Minneapolis, MN 55439-0286" "Orange Julius of America 7505 Metro Blvd. Minneapolis, MN 55439-0286"