Behind the Madison School and Community Recreation building by Hoyt Park is a concrete pyramid shrouded in mystery. Well over 5-feet-tall and around 6-feet-wide, the giant structure rests in the shadows of Hoyt Park forest, resisting all reclamation attempts by the underbrush.

Nolan Ferlic/The Badger Herald

Very little is known about the pyramid, and exactly who the misguided artist behind the sculpture remains uncertain. Ancient aliens perhaps? Remnants of a thriving indigenous civilization of yesteryear? Mola Ram from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? You decide.

Probably most likely, the pyramid is a terrifying preschool project gone awry. An August 2015 article in the Isthmus links the structure to a group undertaking by the Preschool of the Arts sometime in the 1980s. Young student-artists worked alongside faculty and a University of Wisconsin graduate student to erect the stupefying edifice. A Wisconsin State Journal article, however, credits custodian Doug Parks to a portion of the undertaking.

Though the Preschool of the Arts has long since relocated, the haunting structure remains. The pyramid is plastered with faces and symbols.

Numerous indecipherably symbols and pictures grace the pyramid’s sides. Rain and wind have pitted and chipped the embellishments over the years and make investigating the lonely monument a spooky experience.

A series of lopsided circles, a poorly imprinted dog and what looks like the recreation of an ancient Game Boy on the pyramid would baffle even the most professional cryptologist. Whatever message the beautiful civilization behind the ancient structure was attempting to transmit — a warning of impeding doom, coordinates to buried treasure, a lack of artistic skill — may never be untangled.

Nolan Ferlic/The Badger Herald

Discover a tucked away mystery of the Madison area and its secrets before Benjamin Gates tears it apart searching for the next Freemason’s treasures.