The History Behind
Landscape of Juneau Park
In 1870, the city hired prominent landscape architect Horace Cleveland to formalize the park’s layout and features. At the time, the park was mostly grass and treeless in order to preserve the view of Lake Michigan. There were paved curving walkways that would lead pedestrians close to the lake and to the railroad tracks. The success of Juneau Park in the late 1880s led to the establishment of Lake Park in the 1890s, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, that would have beaches, ravines, and many mature trees.
Beginning in 1923, work began on Lincoln Memorial Drive. Juneau Park initially benefitted from this and annexed 100 yards or so of land east of the Drive which was later given to Veteran’s Park. In the 1960’s the lakefront tracks were removed, a portion of land was added onto Juneau Park as part of the Oak Leaf Trail, and an additional section atop the bluff was added that extended the park north to Knapp Street.
Juneau Park has proven to be a great success and a source of civic pride in the city of Milwaukee. While there is so much rich history like the story of Gertie the Duck, Solomon Juneau, or the rediscovering of the lost neighborhood, Milwaukee County Parks continues to make history and establish a seasonal beer garden in May of 2023.