On Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Commissioners voted to name a previously unnamed overlook near the intersection of West River Parkway and East 44th Street the “Horace W. S. Cleveland Overlook.” The following Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, MPRB trades staff installed new signage bearing the overlook name.
Horace William Shaler Cleveland was a landscape architect hired in April 1883 to advise the newly created Minneapolis Park Board on the development of a park system for Minneapolis. On June 2, 1883, Cleveland read a document to the Board of Commissioners that would provide the framework for today's Minneapolis park and recreation system.
In the ensuing decades, the Minneapolis Park Board persistently pursued and expanded on Cleveland’s initial vision for a network of public parkland and parkways connecting Minneapolis’ beautiful riverfront, lakes, creeks and forest. Today the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway contains more than 50 miles of continuous, parallel parkway and trail running throughout the Minneapolis park system. It was designated as a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration in 1998.
The Horace W. S. Cleveland Overlook is near the parking lot just north of the intersection of West River Parkway and East 44th Street. It offers a view of the river bluffs in Mississippi Gorge Regional Park and is near access to Winchell Trail, a five-mile hiking route along the riverfront and bluff areas in the park.
“Recognition for Cleveland and his vision for our amazing park system has been long in the making,” said Meg Forney, President of the MPRB. “I’m grateful for the work of the visionaries like Cleveland and the park stewards who came before me so that our most valuable land and waterfront was acquired and maintained for all.”
Steffanie Musich, MPRB Commissioner for District 5, which includes the area of South Minneapolis where the overlook is located, said, “As a river advocate and Commissioner who greatly treasures and appreciates the one true gorge on the great Mississippi River, we all owe a great debt to Cleveland."
The overlook is part of a section of riverfront acquired by the MPRB in 1901 after nearly two decades of planning and advocacy in the wake of Cleveland’s plan. Cleveland called it “a continuous park of such picturesque character as no art could create and no other city can possess.”