Authentic Wisconsin.  Madison, Wisconsin


Fighter planes over Lake Monona along the Madison, Wisconsin isthmus.

Above: ANG F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard over Lake Monona along the isthmus in Madison, Wisconsin on October 18, 2008.


Madison, Wisconsin - Founded in 1829 by judge, territorial governor, Congressman and land speculator, James Duane Doty. Madison is the 2nd largest city in Wisconsin and is located on an isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona.

In 1836, James Doty convinced the territorial legislature to make Madison the new capital.

Madison is the Wisconsin State Capital and home to the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Early History

Before Europeans, humans inhabited the area in and around Madison for about 12,000 years. In 1800, the Madison area was Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Country. The Native Americans called the area Te Jop e ja, meaning "the Four Lakes," or Taychopera (tay-cho-pe-rah), a collective name for the four lakes (Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa). Effigy mounds, which had been constructed for ceremonial and burial purposes over 1,000 years earlier, dotted the rich prairies around the lakes (about 200 remain). In 1832, when the Black Hawk War ended, European settlers began coming to the area.

Madison Grows

The cornerstone for the Wisconsin capitol was laid in 1837 and the legislature first met there in 1838. On October 9, 1839, Kintzing Prichett registered the plat of Madison at the registrar's office of the then-territorial Dane County. Madison was incorporated as a village in 1846, with a population of 626. When Wisconsin became a state in 1848, Madison remained the capital, and the following year it became the site of the University of Wisconsin (now University of Wisconsin–Madison). The Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad (a predecessor of the Milwaukee Road) connected to Madison in 1854. Madison incorporated as a city in 1856, with a population of 6,863.

Camp Randall in the Beginning

Illustration of Camp Randall in 1864.

Above: Illustration of Camp Randall in 1864 taken from the state university. Kurz, Louis, 1833-1921, lithographer (Click on image to see larger illustration.)


During the Civil War, Madison served as a center of the Union Army in Wisconsin. The intersection of Milwaukee, East Washington, Winnebago, and North Streets is known as Union Corners, because a tavern there was the last stop for Union soldiers before heading to fight the Confederates. Camp Randall, on the west side of Madison, was built and used as a training camp, a military hospital, and a prison camp for captured Confederate soldiers. After the war ended, the Camp Randall site was absorbed into the University of Wisconsin and Camp Randall Stadium was built there in 1917.

Camp Randall Now

Camp Randall Stadium is the home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger football team.

Photo of Camp Randall Stadium looking toward the Capitol building.

Above: (Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)


Photo of inside Camp Randall Stadium taken during the Wisconsin Badgers vs. Minnesota Gophers in 2014.

Above: Photo of inside Camp Randall Stadium taken during the Wisconsin Badgers vs. Minnesota Gophers "Battle for the Axe" football game on 11/29/14. Photo by Bflbarlow [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons.


Historic Madison

1867 map of Madison, Wisconsin.

Above: 1867 map of Madison, Wisconsin (Click on image to view larger map).


1885 map of Madison, Wisconsin.

Above: 1885 map of Madison, Wisconsin (Click on image to view larger map).


Panorama of Madison, Wisconsin in 1899.

Above: Panorama photo of Madison, Wisconsin taken from the Capitol building circa 1899 (Click on image to see larger and complete panorama.)   Note: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin building at the base of Bascom Hill in front of Science Hall is almost completed. Designed by Ferry & Clas, the buildng was finished at the turn of the previous century in 1900.


Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Photo of Monona Terrace in Madison Wisconsin.

Above: Photo of Monona Terrace on the shore of Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. It was first designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938. Wright reworked the design several times between 1938 and 1958 before signing off on the final plans seven weeks before his death in 1959. Whereas Wright´s design was used for the building's exterior, the interior was redesigned by Wright apprentice and Taliesin architect Tony Puttnam.



Photo of Frank Lloyd Wright designed Unitarian Meeting House in Madison Wisconsin.

Above: Photo of Frank Lloyd Wright designed Unitarian Meeting House in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by Nomadseifer [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons.


Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Unitarian Meeting House in Madison

The First Unitarian Society of Madison (FUS) is a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Shorewood Hills (a village entirely surrounded by the city of Madison and Lake Mendota). Its meeting house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by Marshall Erdman in 1949–1951, and has been designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark for its architecture and is listed on U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Madison Overture Center for the Arts

Photo of Madison Museum of Contemporary Art - MMoCA in the Overture Center in Madison Wisconsin.

Above: Photo of MMoCA - The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Franco Folini from San Francisco, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.


The Madison Overture Center for the Arts was commissioned by Jerome Frautschi and Pleasant Rowland (founder of the American Girl brand), and was designed by the famous architect, Cesar Pelli. Perhaps Pelli's most famous works are the Petronas Twin Towers, which were for a time the world's tallest buildings, and the World Financial Center complex (since renamed Brookfield Place), in downtown Manhattan. The Overture Center replaced the Madison Civic Center and took over the entire block that included the Yost's Department Store, whose facade was incorporated into the building's design. The historic Capitol Theater facade and theater was also retained and incorporated into the overall Center's design.

The Overture Center's venues include Overture Hall, the Captitol Theater, the Playhouse, Promenade Hall and the Rotunda Stage. The Center also houses the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art — MMoCA.

The Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, and Madison Ballet call Overture Hall home.

The Madison Chamber Orchestra call the Captitol Theater home, the Children's Theater of Madison and Forward Theater call the Playhouse home, and Kanopy Dance call the Promenade Hall home.

Photo of the main Overture Center entrance in Madison, Wisconsin.

Above: Photo of the main Overture Center entrance (the original Yost's Department Store facade) in Madison, Wisconsin.


The Chazen Museum of Art

Photo of the The Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin.

Above: Photo of The Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by James Steakley [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons.


The Chazen Museum of Art is located at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Madison, Wisconsin. The museum's collection of American artists includes Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Grandma Moses, and many of Alexander Calder's works in several forms. Contemporary works by Shusaku Arakawa, David Klamen, a collection of regionalist paintings by John Steuart Curry including Our Good Earth, Russian Social Realist paintings by Georgy Ionin and Klavdy Vasiliyevich Lebedev, glass art by René Lalique, and a representation of Japanese woodblock prints are also exhibited.

For more information go to the Chazen Museum of Art website.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Photo of the Bolz Conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.

Above: Photo of the Bolz Conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.


Established in 1952 and named for its founder, Michael Olbrich, the gardens are owned and operated jointly by the City of Madison Parks and the non-profit Olbrich Botanical Society. 16 acres of outdoor display gardens including the Bolz Conservatory, Olbrich's award-winning Rose Garden and Thai Pavilion and Garden.

The Gardens include the only Thai Pavilion in the contiguous United States. The pavilion was a gift to the University of Wisconsin–Madison from the Thai Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association and the government of Thailand through its king, Bhumibol Adulyadej.

For more information go to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens website.

Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Homes in Madison

Eugene A. Gilmore House in Madison, Wisconsin.   Walter Rudin House in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jacobs First House in Madison, Wisconsin.  The Robert M. Lamp house in Madison, Wisconsin.

John C. Pew House in the Village of Shorewood in Madison, Wisconsin.  The Eugene Van Tamelen (Marshall Erdman Prefab House #1) house in Madison, Wisconsin.


Madison Sports

Besides the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers football team that plays at Camp Randall,the Badgers basketball team that plays at the Kohl Center and Badgers hockey team that also plays at the Kohl Center, Madison is also home to:

The Madison Mallards – a collegiate summer baseball team based in Madison, Wisconsin that plays in the Northwoods League. Warner Park on Madison’s North side is the team's home field.

The Madison Capitols – a Tier I junior ice hockey team that plays in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League that plays at the Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wisconsin.


For more information on Madison, Wisconsin, visit Wikipedia.

Or, visit the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau website at: visitmadison.com.


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Noteable Places



Madison, Wisconsin
Dane County
Incorporated in 1848

State Capital
Named for James Madison, 4th President of the United States.

"30 acres surrounded by reality" - Lee Sherman Dreyfus, Governor of Wisconsin (1979–1983)


Madison, Wisconsin.


Above: Madison, Wisconsin. Coordinates: 43°4′N 89°24′W


Nicknames:

Mad City
Madtown
City of Four Lakes


September 6, 1948 LIFE Magazine cover.

Above: The oldest brother of actor and Wisconsinite, Chris Noth, and mother, Jeanne Parr on the cover of LIFE Magazine (September 6, 1948). Perhaps the most famous magazine story ever written about Madison, Wisconsin.


Lake Wingra Photo Blog.

Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin.


Above: Wisconsin State Capitol building. Construction on the present and third Capitol in Madison began in late 1906 and was completed in 1917. Read more about the Capitol building by visiting capitol100th.wisconsin.gov


Wisconsin statue on top of Capitol dome.


Above: The Statue on top of the State Capitol dome is not "Forward" but is officially named "Wisconsin" and has also been nicknamed the "Golden Lady." She stands 15 feet, 5 inches high and weighs more than 3 tons. In her left hand, she holds a globe with an eagle perched on it and on her head is a helmet topped with a badger. (Photo: RAHurd [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons) )


Inside view of Wisconsin Capitol dome.


Above: Inside view of Wisconsin Capitol dome. (Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)


Painting in center of Capitol dome in Madison, Wisconsin.


Above: Edwin Howland Blashfield's "The Resources of Wisconsin" in the oculus of the Wisconsin Capitol dome. (Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)


Grand Hall of the Wisconsin Capitol.


Above: Grand Hall of the Wisconsin Capitol (Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)


University of Wisconsin Kohl Center where the Badgers play hockey and basketball.


Above: The University of Wisconsin Kohl Center where the Badgers play hockey and basketball.


The Red Gym on the University of Wisconsin campus circa 1899.


Above: The Red Gym on the University of Wisconsin campus (circa 1899).


Bascom Hall on the University of Wisconsin campus.


Above: Bascom Hall on the University of Wisconsin campus.


Madison state capitol building as seen from the University of Wisconsin at sunset.


Above: The Wisconsin State Capitol building in the late afternoon as seen from Observatory Drive looking between the Memorial Union (left) and Science Hall (red brick building on right).


Madison chain of lakes including Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Wingra.


Above: Madison chain of lakes including Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Wingra.
More Information


Lake Wingra Photo Blog


Overture Hall and Overture Organ.


Above: Inside Overture Hall looking at performance stage and organ.


Entrance to the University of Wisconsin Arboretum from Seminole Drive.


Above: The University of Wisconsin Arboretum.


Camp Randall Memorial Arch.


Above: Camp Randall Memorial Arch built in 1912.


Camp Randall Memorial Arch.


Above: Camp Randall canon. Photo by James Steakley [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons


Original Capitol Theater facade incorporated into the Overture Center.


Above: Original Capitol Theater facade incorporated into the Overture Center.


Inside the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin.


Above: Inside the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin.Photo by John Benson from Madison WI [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.


Frank Lloyd Wright designed window on display at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison Wisconsin.


Above: Window designed by Frank Lloyd Wright displayed at the Chazen Museum of Art.


Large wooden skull on display outside the entrance to the Chazen Museum of Art.


Above: Large wooden skull on display outside the entrance to the Chazen Museum of Art.


Olbrich Gardens Thai Pavillion.


Above: Thai Pavillion at Olbrich Botanical Gardens.



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