Hours: 4:00am - 10:00pm Park Type: Community Acres: 22.63 Restroom: Yes Drinking Water: Yes
Former Parks Superintendent, Daniel Stapay, once said, "Hoyt [Park] is important because of its history." Indeed, the origins of present-day Hoyt Park can be traced to 1890 when the City acquired property rights to twenty-four acres of stone quarry which in time grew to its current thirty-one acres through donation and purchase. By 1933, operations at the stone quarry had ceased and the land had officially become a city park when it was named Hoyt Park in honor of Frank W. Hoyt also known as "The Grand Old Man." Between 1894 and 1934, Mr. Hoyt acted as a leader in the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association, a volunteer-based group which predated the Board of Park Commissioners assembled in 1937 and was integral in opening, and maintaining recreational places in the Madison area.
Major efforts to develop Hoyt Park began during the Great Depression with funds provided by Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Many unemployed workers were hired by programs such as Works Progress Administration and Civil Works Administration to improve various aspects of Hoyt Park. Significant among these laborers were the Italian masons from the local Greenbush neighborhood who were responsible for constructing stone fireplaces and tables using materials from the Park's quarry. Though money for the building projects had been exhausted, the Italian masons continued to work without pay in order to complete what they had started.
However, subsequent time, vandalism, and harsh winter cycles caused the Depression-era artifacts to deteriorate. In response to citizen concern for the dire situation, the Friends of Hoyt Park was founded in 1995. This volunteer group is committed to restoring and preserving cultural features of the park's past. In the years to follow, with financial contributions of both the City and the Friends of Hoyt Park, the twelve stone fireplaces were meticulously restored to their previous condition.