With degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, John Nolen
(1869-1937) had a reputation as one of the country's most innovative urban planners.
His study of European cities helped him design an urban-planning ideal that integrated
housing, industry, open space, and land-use control in effective and aesthetic ways.
Madison hired Nolen to plan its future growth. He was quick to criticize Doty's original
city plat as being a "mechanical and thoughtless" adaptation of the layout of the nation's capital.
Starting in 1910, the city began to initiate Nolen's recommendations, which included
limiting the heights of structures near the capitol, improving State Street, burying
utility wires, expanding the UW campus and developing parks and playgrounds.
Implementation of Nolen's ideas continued into the 1930s. He was considered to be the master of urban planning until his death in 1937.