Kohler Village
Kohler, WI
Village of Kohler
Kohler, Wisconsin
United States

Olmsted Brothers created a 50-year master plan for the Village of Kohler in Wisconsin.

About Village of Kohler 

The Village of Kohler in Wisconsin was developed as a garden community by Walter J. Kohler, son of Kohler Company founder John Michael Kohler. 

In 1899, Kohler Company moved from the port city of Sheboygan, along the shore of Lake Michigan, to a stretch of farmland four miles inland along the river. There, the Kohler family built a “garden community at the factory gate,” originally called Riverside, where Kohler Company associates— mostly first-generation immigrants at the time— could plant American roots for their families.  

After incorporation in 1912 as the Village of Kohler, Kohler saw the need for a plan to avoid haphazard growth. He called on Olmsted Brothers to develop a 50-year master plan for the community.  

From 1913-1916, Olmsted Brothers thoughtfully drafted streets, parks and natural landscapes throughout the Village. The streets were planned to meander and meet at various angles— a hallmark of Olmsted community planning. The design was meant to encourage neighborly interactions outdoors.

The plan was only partially realized due to the Great Depression, but the firm remained active in the area into the 1950s, preparing concepts and planting designs for various sites.  

Today, concepts introduced by the Kohler family and Olmsted Brothers are being protected and enhanced through the cooperation of Kohler Company, Kohler Village and Kohler Foundation.  


    Ravine Park, Kohler, WI

    Sousa Concert c. 1925

    Courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

    Kohler Company Housing

    Courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

    Plan by Olmsted Brothers


Shared Spaces


Vassar College

Three generations of the Olmsted firm consulted at Vassar.

Washington Park

Originally called West Park, Washington Park in Milwaukee was designed by Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot beginning in 1891-92.