2019 Historic Architecture Walking Tours 

General Tour Information

Times: Tours run May through September. Thursday evening tours are at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday morning tours are at 11:00 a.m.

Reservations: No reservations necessary!

Cost: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for students, and FREE for Madison Trust members. Purchase tickets at starting location. We accept cash or check only.

Weather: We will be there rain or shine!

What to wear: Dress for the weather in comfortable shoes, as tours require standing and walking for up to 90 minutes.

We do private tours! See our Private Tours page for more information.

*We ask that you do not bring your dog on the tours. Service dogs are welcome.

To view tours by date, please see our online 2019 Tour Schedule or download the PDF.

 
 

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King Street

Where Madison First Happened

Over the years, Madison’s very first street has been home to the city’s first fast-food lunchroom (one-minute lunch, anyone?), first high-volume grocery, and first teacher. Throw in the Majestic (Madison’s oldest continuously operating theater), an art deco high-rise and a Turkish bath and you’ll realize there’s a lot about this well-visited street you may not know.

 

Tour Times

Thursday, May 30, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 29, at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 22, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 28, at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Location

By the large granite arch at the intersection of King, Webster, and Doty Streets.

 

Length

Approximately 1 hour

After the Tour

Enjoy a free beer or soft drink at the Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company

123 E. Doty St.

 
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Machinery Row

Threshers, Tractors, Trains & Traveling Salesmen

During the booming 19th century, the east side of Madison was the center of the agricultural implement manufacturing industry in Wisconsin. Railroads converged here and the area became known as “Machinery Row.” Learn about this history and see factories, commercial buildings, a railroad station, hotels, and a candy company to boot!

 

Tour Times

Thursday, June 13, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 20, at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 8, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 7, at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Location

Machinery Row, 601 Williamson Street

 

Length

Approximately 1 1/2 hours

After the Tour

Enjoy a complimentary pint of beer, coffee, iced tea or soda at Eldorado Grill

744 Williamson St.

*Please note there will be construction on sections of this tour.

 
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Mansion Hill West

Meet Movers & Shakers

Hidden among the student rentals, you’ll see where Madison’s “big bugs” settled. Time travel with us from the 1850s to the 1940s to discover a variety of architectural styles and hear stories about the people who built our city: the Jackson, Tenney, Quisling, Mautz, Steensland and Stevens families.

 

Tour Times

Saturday, June 8, at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, July 11, at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 15, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 14, at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Location

Meet at 319 N. Henry St. in front of the Plaza Tavern and Grill

 

Length

Approximately 1 1/4 hours

After the Tour

Stop in the Plaza Tavern and Grill, 319 N. Henry St., for a complimentary pint and stay for a Madison classic, the Plazaburger!

 
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Maple Bluff- Cambridge Road

Lakeside Architectural Gems

Explore Cambridge Road’s rich variety of architecture including Prairie, Shingle, Mediterranean Revival, and French Norman Revival styles. Learn about the lives of civic and business leaders who resided here and about the prominent architects who designed their homes. The village of Maple Bluff never became part of Madison - discover why!

 

Tour Times

Thursday, June 20, at 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, July 6, at 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, July 27, at 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 17, at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Location

At the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Cambridge Road, near 98 Cambridge Rd.

 

Length

Approximately 1 1/4 hours

After the Tour

After Saturday tour, enjoy a medium drink or pastry at Manna Cafe & Bakery

611 N. Sherman Ave.

 
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Orton Park

Now a place of relaxation, recreation, and celebration Orton Park once served as a final resting place for the dearly departed. Tour one of Madison’s oldest neighborhoods and see homes designed by local architects in distinctive styles as diverse as Italianate, Queen Anne, Greek and Tudor Revival, Craftsman, and Prairie.

 

Tour Times

Thursday, June 6, at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 4, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 3, at 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 31, at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Location

Meet at 1021 Spaight St. in front of Immanuel Lutheran Church

 

Length

Approximately 1 1/4 hours

After the Tour

Enjoy a buy-one-get-one-free ice cream or pint of beer at The Roman Candle Pizzeria, 1054 Williamson St., after the tour.

 
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University Heights

Iconic Architects

Houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Frank Riley, Claude & Starck, Alvan Small - oh my! This distinguished campus-adjacent neighborhood has been home to some of Madison’s most prominent university faculty. As you explore the area, guess (or ask!) what many of the street names have in common.

 

Tour Times

Saturday, June 1, at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, June 27, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 13, at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 1, at 6:00 p.m.

Meeting Location

Meet at 130 N. Prospect Ave. in front of Olin House

 

Length

Approximately 1 1/4 hours

After the Tour

Bring your coupon to the Regent Market Co-op, 2136 Regent St., for a surprise snack or drink

 
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UW-Madison Agriculture Campus

Birthplace of the Wisconsin Idea

Moo-ve through the historic agricultural campus and learn about the scientific discoveries made within these 19th-century buildings of varied architectural styles. It’s so much more than cows (although you may see some of those too!).

 

Tour Times

Saturday, June 15, at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, July 18, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10, at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 29, at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Location

At the entrance to Allen Centennial Garden, 620 Babcock Dr.

 

Length

Approximately 1 1/2 hours

After the Tour

Get a complimentary small ice cream cone or dish at Babcock Hall Dairy Store

1605 Linden Dr.

 
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Westmorland

Farmland to Frank Lloyd Wright

No repetitious development of cookie-cutter houses in this pioneering west-side suburb. Find the remaining 1860s sandstone barn that shares a block with a 1920s Tudor Revival home. Identify houses ordered from a Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog, houses made entirely of steel, and the house Wright designed as a prototype.

 

Tour Times

Saturday, June 22, at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, July 25, at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 24, at 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 21, at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Location

fit 2 eat, 3742 Speedway Rd., at the intersection with Mineral Point Road and Glenway Street

 

Length

Approximately 1 1/2 hours

After the Tour

After your tour, stop in a fit 2 eat, 3742 Speedway Rd., to enjoy a complimentary freshly brewed iced tea.