The wrecking ball may have tumbled Wooddale School into a pile of bricks in 1985, but the building lives on in many former students’ memories. “Every school I draw in my books is Wooddale School,” says former student Nancy Carlson, a children’s book author and illustrator.
Wooddale School, originally named Edina School, opened with great fanfare on November 10, 1926. Four hundred students “carrying flags and singing at the top of their voices” marched from the old 1888 yellow brick school, located near present day City Hall, to the new school at 50th and Wooddale, reported the Minneapolis Tribune. A population boom brought other new schools in quick succession, including Edina-Morningside Junior Senior High in 1949 and Concord Elementary in 1952. Edina School, no longer the only school in town, was re-named Wooddale.
By 1980, the district closed its oldest building due to declining enrollment, and in 1983 deeded Wooddale School to the City for a community center. In 1985, faced with $700,000 in remodeling costs, the City Council voted to raze the structure and construct a park.
Wooddale School, located at 50th Street and Wooddale Avenue, as it looked in 1980, when it closed due to falling enrollment. It was razed in 1985.
The Edina Historical Society preserved several items from Wooddale School, including auditorium seats, doorways and decorative details. Items are on display at the Edina History Museum, 4711 West 70th St.
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