Contact: Kara O’Keeffe

Frank W. Hoyt Park listed in National Register of Historic Places

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced the listing of Frank W. Hoyt Park in Madison, Dane County, in the National Register of Historic Places. National Register designation provides access to certain benefits, including qualification for grants and for rehabilitation income tax credits, while it does not restrict private property owners in the use of their property.

This park is important for its association with early municipal park development in Madison.  The original portion of the park was developed by Professor Edward T. Owen in 1892, who then donated it to a private organization originally called the Lake Mendota Pleasure Drive Association, and reorganized as the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association two years later.  This private association was instrumental in creating what would become Madison’s nationally known public park system and this donation was the first step in creating this system.

In the late 1920s, the park system developed by the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association was donated to the City of Madison, which established its own publicly funded Park’s Department.  Frank W. Hoyt Park thus became the City’s first suburban park and as such it represents the beginning of a new era in Madison’s park development.  The park is further distinguished by its beautiful collection of Rustic style park architecture including a shelter, fireplaces, stairs, and landscaping features, all constructed of stone quarried on site and built by the Civil Works Administration during the Great Depression. Hoyt Park continues to be popular and well-loved in Madison.

The register is the official national list of historic properties in America deemed worthy of preservation and is maintained by the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Wisconsin Historical Society administers the program within Wisconsin. It includes sites, buildings, structures, objects and districts that are significant in national, state or local history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.

To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit

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