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Walker Methodist Celebrates 70th Year Anniversary

Anneliese Peterson | Jan 5, 2015

We are excited to announce that in 2015, we will be celebrating our 70th year anniversary. Instead of referring to 2015 as our ‘Septuagennial’ year, we’d like to think that we are simply 70 Years Young.

While we are excited to continually look ahead at our bright future, we appreciate the opportunity to fondly look back and reflect on our past growth and humble beginnings.

A Glimpse into the Past

70YearsYoungWhile our commitment to seniors began 70 years ago, our foundation of service goes back much further. In 1876, Harriet Walker and three other women founded the Bethany Home to meet the needs of unmarried, pregnant women. When Harriet passed in 1916, her husband and children pledged funds for a new facility and Harriet Walker Maternity Hospital opened in 1930.

Also during this time, Elim Home for the Aging was operating and sponsored by the Methodist Church. In 1943, Elim Home was renamed the Methodist Home and began to seek to better meet the needs of aging adults. In a time when the demand for the maternity hospital was in a decline, Archie Walker, Harriet’s son, formed a partnership with the Reverend of the Methodist church.

On November 6th, 1945, they founded Walker Methodist Home for the Aged. Just 20 years after, they opened a five-story care center – one of the largest in Minnesota. Over the last 20 years, Walker Methodist has expanded services throughout the Twin Cities area. Each senior living community is unique and offers various levels of senior care including independent living, assisted living, memory care, transitional care, skilled nursing, and more.

The commitment of the Walker family and staff has extended generation after generation. Archie Walker, son of founder Harriet Walker, passed the legacy on to his son Walter and his wife, Elaine – who continues to serve on the Walker Methodist foundation board today. 

70 Years Young

With ten vibrant senior living communities in the Minneapolis, MN and metropolitan area, Walker Methodist’s living residences offer many levels of care, services, amenities, and fullness of life.

Below is a brief timeline of the development of our communities and how they continue to serve the older adults of Minnesota today.

  • 1876: Harriet Walker and three other women started home for unwed mothers

  • 1945: Maternity home needs declined, and a partnership with the Methodist church formed, and Walker Methodist Home opened its doors.

  • 1975: The Walker Methodist Foundation was established to ensure high quality of housing and health care be provided.

  • 1983: The Gamble Building of Walker Methodist Health Center opened.

  • 1984: The Senior Club and Adult Day Program were established.

  • 1985: Walker Methodist Place residence was added in Minneapolis, MN

  • 1986: Walker Methodist on Kenzie opened in St. Anthony, MN

  • 1987: Walker Methodist at Hazel Ridge was established in Maplewood, MN

  • 1988: Walker Methodist at Westwood Ridge was added in West St. Paul, MN

  • 1990: Walker Methodist Plaza opened in Anoka, MN

  • 1992: Walker Methodist Elder Suites (now Care Suites) was established in Edina, MN

  • 1996: Walker Court within Walker Methodist Health Center was added to allow for independence with accessible full medical help available.

  • 2001: The Alzheimer’s Village at Walker Methodist Health Center opened. 

  • 2004: Walker Methodist Chemical Health Program at Walker Methodist Health Center was added.

  • 2005: Walker Methodist on Lyndale was established in Minneapolis, MN

  • 2012: To reflect changing expectations and preferences, a new mission statement was adopted: Life. And all the living that goes with it 

  • 2014: Walker Methodist partners with MUSIC & MEMORY to provide the Miracle of Music and personalized music therapy to residents.

  • 2014: Walker Methodist partners with Struthers Parkinson’s to continue to provide superior senior care.

  • 2015: Walker Methodist residents, staff, and family celebrate 70 years young, continually supporting our mission of Life. And all the living that goes with it.

We appreciate the many families, businesses, organizations, and individuals who have helped shape Walker Methodist into what it is today. Without the unending support and belief in our values of respect, imagination, and collaboration, our mission to serve others in living life to the fullest would not be possible.

Walker Methodist’s Future

We pride ourselves in being a leading provider of lifestyle, homes, healthcare, and rehabilitative services from older adults across Minnesota. Our mission guides our creativity, innovation, and success as we continually seek opportunities to build and develop our programs, service offerings, and senior living residences in the future.


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