Morningside is a geographically and architecturally distinct neighborhood of about 750 homes located in the city of Edina.
Lots in the Morningside neighborhood were first platted for residential development in 1905 by the children of Jonathan Grimes, who had inherited the 55-acre Grimes farm and apple orchard in the northeast corner of the village. (The Jonathan Taylor Grimes House on West 44th Street was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.)
The April 11, 1905 Minneapolis Journal reported, “ [The] new district, Morningside, is composed of sixty-nine lots, 100 by 200 feet each, to cost from $250 to $1000. The district lies between 42nd and 44th streets and will be crossed by three new avenues, Alden, Scott and France. Electric cars will stop at three stations adjacent to the [Grimes] property. Tenants who live outside the city limits will have low taxes and at the same time only 5-cent carfare to town.”
Between about 1905 and 1936, Morningside developers built several hundred new single–family homes, including many bungalows, on standard-sized suburban lots along straight-line streets. Because it was situated along the old Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Morningside developed more quickly than what was then the mostly rural village of Edina. The neighborhood’s efforts to improve its infrastructure were sometimes met with resistance by the larger city. In 1920, one resident wrote, “It is time that Morningside emerged from its chrysalis stage and became a recognized entity instead of being a revenue appendix of 8,500 acres of pasture, woodland and cornfield.”
Later that year, Morningsiders voted to secede from Edina and form their own village to provide amenities more suitable to a professional streetcar suburb.
One of the early familiar figures in the village was George Weber. In 1929, Morningside’s mayor asked the school janitor, 55-year-old George Weber, if he would serve as the village marshal. He initially declined the job offer, but the council voted him in anyway. Weber served Morningside for the next 27 years. Police headquarters for Morningside was at Weber’s home, 4400 Branson Street, and run by his wife. In addition to his duties as marshal he acted as the water-meter reader and census-taker. Court was held in the Edina Grange Hall on the first and third Monday evenings. The neighborhood’s large park is named after Weber; the undeveloped green space north of the park is commonly known as Weber Woods.
In 1956, with Weber’s retirement, the Edina Village Police began providing police protection to the Village of Morningside.
Morningside remained a separate village for 46 years. In 1966, in response to state prompting, voters decide to rejoin the city of Edina. This decision was based, in part, on the impracticality of building a sewage infrastructure for such a small municipality. Vestiges of Morningside's previous autonomy are still evident in the water system, which is connected to the Minneapolis water system instead of Edina’s.
Today, Morningside retains a charming village-within-a-city atmosphere that is distinct from the rest of Edina. That character is reinforced by the many organizations that have been formed in the community. The Morningside Babysitting Cooperative has existed for nearly a century and still tracks shared hours of child care among its members. The Morningside Woman's Club was organized in 1937; it was previously known as the Morningside Literary Club. The Morningside Athletic Club (MAC) meets Saturday mornings at Weber Park for sports activities, such as soccer, football and ice hockey.