Circa 10,000 years B.C.E
This project involves the reconstruction of John Nolen Drive from North Shore Drive to Olin Ave, including replacement of the six bridges along the John Nolen Causeway, and partial replacement of the bridge wingwalls over Wingra Creek. The project also involves partial shoreline replacement along the John Nolen Causeway and bicycle-pedestrian improvements along the adjacent Capital City Trail. This project will be planned/designed in coordination with the on-going Law Park redevelopment.
John Nolen (June 14, 1869 – February 18, 1937) was an American landscape architect, planning consultant, and writer, and the founding member of the American City Planning Institute. He completed a number of projects in Wisconsin – Nolen developed plans for the University of Wisconsin, the city of Madison, and the state park system. His comprehensive approach blended social, economic, and physical aspects of urban life with the preservation of natural beauty.
History of John Nolen Drive and Madison
- Humans First Inhabit Madison area
- Ho-Chunk Nation
~3,500 years ago
Primary Indigenous People in the Madison-area. Effigy mounds built for burial and ceremonial purposes dot the landscape.
- First European Settlers
Starting in the 1600s, European immigrants settle in Wisconsin, beginning the forcible displacement of Indigenous Peoples.
- Madison named as Capital
Madison first proposed as Wisconsin’s Capital by James Duane Doty
1854 – 1864
Population – 5,126 – 9,170
The Turville family purchase land in 1854 and at the same time the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad is put in place along John Nolen Drive, later adding another railroad track for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Company.
- New Development
1864 – 1881
Population – 9,170 – 10,400
This was the time period of new development on land bought from the Turville family. They had multiple resorts and an assembly area throughout the years.
- Private Farmland to Public Use
1890 – Present
Population – 15,345 – 254,977
There were talks of MATC being built on the Turville Farmland, which got turned down by the community and then the city bought all the land from the Turville family and created Olin Park and Turville Park and eventually started working on conservation and restoration projects.
John Nolen Drive opened as an original two-lane causeway.
John Nolen Drive widened to a four-lane causeway.