Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Frank W. Hoyt Park (Madison, Dane County) on the State Register of Historic Places on February 16, 2018.

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 Owen’s 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.

The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.

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

About Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit


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