Wisconsin Concrete Park

WI 13 S., Worcester, Wisconsin

Sculpture garden of self-taught artisan, Fred Smith

Photos 

Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park

Fred Smith (1886-1976) started working as a lumberjack at the age of 12, which he continued to do until he retired in 1948. He purchased this homestead about 1903, raised Christmas trees and in 1936, he built and and started operating the tavern next door. While operating the tavern, he collected tons of bottles and other pieces of glass.

After he retired in 1948, he began to build these concrete works of art. He used glass from his tavern, objects that he found (like automobile lenses and trim pieces, mirrors, insulators, reflectors and other objects to reinforce and protect - but mostly to adorn - his concrete creations.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning

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Video 

Ruth Kohler Talks About Fred Smith

The short animated video features Ruth Kohler talking about the discovery and preservation of Fred Smith's delightful Wisconsin Concrete Park.

John Michael Kohler Arts Center

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Map 

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 2005
Reference number
05001195
Architectural style
American Movement
Area of significance
Art
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Site
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Restaurant; Garden; Work of art (sculpture, carving, rock art)
Current functions
Work of art (sculpture, carving, rock art); Restaurant; Park; Specialty store
Periods of significance
1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant year
1948
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2
Contributing sites: 1
Contributing objects: 61
Non-contributing buildings: 3
Non-contributing structures: 2

Update Log 

  • March 5, 2017: New video from J.R. Manning
  • July 22, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status and Added to Category "Roadside Oddity"
  • April 29, 2012: New photo from J.R. Manning

Sources