Goeres Park, stone walls (T. Heggland photo, 2008)
Goeres Park, Goeres Memorial (T. Heggland photo, 2008)
Goeres Park, stone bleachers (T. Heggland photo, 2008)
Goeres Park, Spring Creek (T. Heggland photo, 2008)
Fair Street, Lodi, Columbia County
Landscape architect: Franz Aust
Construction dates: 1935-1961
In 1935, the village of Lodi purchased twenty acres of marsh and pastureland at the north end of the village for a new municipal water treatment plant and a new multi-use park. Franz A. Aust, a University of Wisconsin professor of landscape architecture well known for his advocacy of naturalistic landscaping and for his use of native planting materials, planned the park project. WPA work-relief funds were used to build the park.
Because Spring Creek divided the future park into unequal-size east and west portions, Aust dedicated the smaller west side portion to contemplative use, while the land on the east side was dedicated to more active use. Aust then had the course of the creek straightened and its shores rip-rapped with locally quarried sandstone. After that, the site was graded, leveled, and rimmed with limestone retaining walls, and a large lagoon/swimming pool was dug out. Additional projects included the planting of hundreds of trees and shrubs on the newly worked grounds and the construction of stone bleachers that were built into the east side of the park overlooking a new athletic field.
The park is named after Dr. T.O. Goeres, the single most important person in seeing the park to completion. One of Aust's last projects in the park was completed in 1942: a memorial to Robert M. Goeres, the son of Dr. Goeres. This beautiful memorial, with its waterfall and reflecting pool, is located on the west side of the park and can be accessed from W. Main St. by a stone stairway.
Goeres Park is still actively used and it is open to the public.