Structures built in parks ranged from modest to grand relative to the size and purpose of the park and the financial resources of the park planners.
Common structures in the nineteenth century included gazebos and bandstands. Picnic pavilions, restrooms, and recreation buildings became important features starting in the early twentieth century as parks began to accommodate more active uses.
Infrastructure elements such as roads, bridges, or walls made up a large part of construction and maintenance expenses for park administrators.
Cultural parks might include more elaborate or extensive buildings for features like museums, conservatories, and zoos. Structures like these were often added to existing parks as their role changed from a restful rural retreat on the edge of town to more of an event and gathering place. An example of such a park is Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.