On this cloudless summer morning, I set out to visit the Period Garden Park. Located at the intersection of Gorham and Pickney in the Mansion Hill District of Madison, the small park is on land that was once the front lawn of the Elisha W. Keys House. This house, pictured above, was built between 1853-1854.
In 1972, the plot (which at the time was a parking lot) was slated to be redeveloped as a 30 unit efficiency apartment building, which surely would have hidden the newly-designated historical landmark of the Keys house. Members of the community along with funding by the city and state governments helped secure the purchase of the land for a park.
Through the work of volunteers, the garden has been maintained. Over $10,000 worth of perennials, shrubs and trees have been added since 2007.
The park has been designed to look like a typical garden that the neighborhood once enjoyed. Wrought iron from the time period was moved from a cemetery to the location. The sandstone steps are listed as original, and are typical of that era, as are the brick walkways.
If visiting the Capitol area, the Period Garden Park is a pleasant, quiet reprieve in the heart of a historic neighborhood.