Tenney Park--Yahara River Parkway

Also known as: Tenney Park and the Yahara River Parkway
1220 E. Johnson St.; 501 S. Thornton Ave., Madison, Wisconsin

A park and parkway along both shores of the Yahara River, connecting Lakes Mendota and Monona


Tenney Park Lagoon

The Yahara River and the Tenney Park Lagoon surround an island that is reachable by pedestrian bridges.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning August 2018




"The Tenney Park/Yahara River Parkway site crosses Madison's isthmus between 12 and 16 blocks east of the Capitol Square. This site includes both Tenney Park (1900-11) and the Yahara River Parkway (1903-06). The two parks are being nominated together because they form a visually-unified, continuous, recreational area. In addition, they were created by the same organization (the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association), designed by the same landscape architect (O. C. Simonds), and are contemporaneous. Tenney Park and the Yahara River Parkway together encompass 60.6 acres, with 2 sites (the parks themselves), 13 contributing structures, 1 contributing building, 5 noncontributing structures and 3 noncontributing buildings."

Quotation from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form prepared by Elizabeth L. Miller, Preservation Consultant of the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, April 1, 1998. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 17, 1999
Reference number
Architectural style
American Movement: Prairie School
Areas of significance
Community Planning and Development; Landscape Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing structures: 13
Contributing sites: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 3
Non-contributing structures: 6

Update Log 

  • September 29, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos