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Location DB > United States > Wisconsin > Madison > The Lost City
The Lost City
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 Database Info
created by Aran on 4/22/2020 1:32 AM
last modified by Aran on 4/22/2020 2:00 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
The overgrown remains of an early 1900's housing development that was never completed. A couple of the roads have been repurposed as hiking paths, while the rest of the roads have become so overgrown they are little more than game trails. There are some concrete foundations, a basement, and some concrete steps in the woods a ways off the main trail, surrounded by broken bottles and junk from the 1920's.
 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Abandoned
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: not very exciting
 Physical Information

Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Owner: University of Wisconsin Madison
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  •  Hazards
     Interesting Features
    The UW Arboretum is free and open to the public for hiking, so it's a nice nature hike on your way to the ruins.
     Security Measures
     Historical Dates
    Built: 1916
    Closed: 1922
     Required Equipment
     Recommended Equipment
    Long pants/shirt, the underbrush is pretty thick
    In the mid 1910's Madison was experiencing a housing shortage, and a developing firm known as the Lake Forest Company put forth plans to construct a new residential neighborhood on Madison's south side designed to house up to a thousand people. They got approval around 1916 and construction began. This development was known as the Lake Forest Community.

    The problem was that the land was semi-swampy wetland, and the water table was so high that roads would sink under their own weight and be submerged. Further plans to bring in additional fill and construct a network of canals to lower the water table were proposed, with the development being advertised as "the new Venice."

    However, construction was never completed. In the early 1920's a combination of WWI, an economic recession, and local politics drove the Lake Forest Company out of business. Only the roads, a few basements, and some concrete porch steps were finished before construction halted. In the 1930's the University of Wisconsin Madison bought the land and repurposed it as a nature preserve and allowed nature to reclaim the Lake Forest Community. It was given the nickname "The Lost City" by locals and has been known as such ever since.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    The UW Arboretum will continue using the land for conservation and education purposes, and hikers will continue to be allowed to wander around.

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     Photo Galleries
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    Social Distancing
    Wed, Apr 22nd, 2020
    posted by Aran
    8 pictures

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     Web Links
    Every year around Halloween the UW Arboretum holds an annual Lost City tour where guides take hikers to the ruins and explain the history. See link below:

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 4/22/2020 6:16 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Apr 22 20 at 18:16, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:33, Aran made this location available
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:32, Aran updated the main picture
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:31, Aran updated gallery Social Distancing
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:31, Aran deleted 1 pictures from gallery Social Distancing
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:30, Aran updated gallery picture Lost-City-Modern-Aerial.jpg
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:29, Aran added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:28, Aran added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:28, Aran updated gallery picture Lost City 1937 Aerial.jpg
  • on Apr 22 20 at 7:27, Aran updated gallery picture IMG_20200421_170126860_HDR.jpg
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