The Buildings


The Doors Open Madison 2017 Sites


American Family Dream Bank

The American Exchange Bank (1871) was designated a landmark by the Madison Landmarks Commission in 1975 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

This Italian Renaissance Revival style structure, a distinguished example of its type, was designed by architect Stephen Vaughn Shipman. Built of Madison sandstone, the three story building displays a massive cornice and rusticated first floor. The building occupies the former site of the American House (1838-1868), where the first territorial legislative session was held on November 26, 1838. Other notable Shipman buildings included a former post office on the Capitol Square, the Dome of the 2nd State Capitol and the first Park Hotel. Remaining Shipman designs include the Doyle and Castle Building and the Willet S. Main Building.

In 1994, Urban Land Interests acquired and carefully restored the landmark structure. ULI incorporated a new elevator and ensured ADA accessibility. The building is currently home to notable tenants including the American Family Dream Bank which has infused the building with new energy while helping its users achieve their dreams.

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

1 N. Pinckney St.

Bascom Hill

Bascom Hill is home to the historic core of the UW-Madison campus. The first three buildings constructed on campus, North Hall (1851), South Hall (1855) and Bascom Hall (1859) sit at the crest of the hill. From these relatively modest structures the campus has expanded to over 400 buildings on 936 acres. Join student guides on a walking tour of Bascom Hill to learn more about the early history of the university.


Guided tours of Bascom Hill area at 12pm and 2pm
Meet at the Abe Lincoln Statue

500 Lincoln Dr.

Bethel Lutheran Church

Bethel was established as a congregation in 1855, and has worshipped on the current site since 1941 – in the Neogothic Revival style stone building, designed by Hugo Haeuser. Currently we have six worship services each weekend, one each in Spanish and Nepali. The Arts - visual and music, plus a focus on downtown homelessness helps define Bethel's mission.

Guided tours at 11am, 11:40am, 12:20pm, 1pm, 1:40pm, 2:20pm, 3pm, and 3:40pm starting at greeter’s table

312 Wisconsin Ave.

Downtown Visitor Center

The Downtown Visitors’ Center is the suggested starting place for Doors Open Madison as it is centrally located and is a great place to answer all of your questions about the event and Madison in general! Madison’s Central Business Improvement runs it and it is your one-stop-shop for navigating downtown Madison.

452 State St.

The Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater is just down the street from the Capitol Square and State Street, in the heart of downtown Madison, and on the shores of Lake Mendota. Offering over 200 guest rooms, a community-focused plaza and pier, several restaurants and lounges, a luxurious spa, and extraordinary facilities for meetings, private events and weddings – visitors always enjoy a true Madison experience here.

Self-guided tours from 11am-4pm

Guided group tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm meet in the lobby

1001 Wisconsin Pl.

Elizabeth “Lisa” Link Peace Park

The park is named for Elizabeth (Lisa) Link, an activist who passed away in 1982. Link was instrumental in reviving the Madison chapter of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The park intends to honor how Link promoted Madison’s pacifist and non-interventionist traditions with her activism.

Doors Open Madison is also proud to announce that the Ho Chunk Nation Singers and Dancers will be performing live at Elizabeth “Lisa” Link Park from 1pm-2pm! Be sure to check it out and enjoy these amazing and cherished traditional performances!

452 State St.

Fire Administration Building & Fire Station 1

The Fire Administration building was torn down in July 2013 and reopened in the new Ovation building on Dayton Street in December 2015.

Fire Station #1 is the City’s largest and busiest firehouse and is the home base for the Lake Rescue Team. It was originally built in 1967 at the same time as the adjacent Fire Administration Building, and was remodeled at the same time that the new Administration building was constructed.

Guided tours every hour on the hour: 11:00, noon, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00. Meet at Fire Administration front door, 314 W. Dayton St.

314/316 W. Dayton St.

Grace Episcopal Church

Grace Episcopal Church was founded in 1839 and has been located on Capitol Square since 1858 when its nave was constructed. A National Historical Landmark, Grace has included among its membership many of Madison's and Wisconsin's leading families. In recent years, it has been the home for Madison's Men's Drop-In Shelter and a food pantry. Our facilities underwent significant renovations in 2015 and we are excited to be able to reintroduce our  lovely and historic spaces to the community. 

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

116 W. Washington Ave.

The Graduate Hotel

The Graduate Hotel in Madison is just a block from campus, ideally set alongside Lake Mendota on historic Langdon Street, and around the way from Memorial Union Terrace. Our Madison hotel is nestled between the bustling shops and stops on State Street and majestic Capitol Square – the perfect spot for a campus visit, company meet up or place to pop by for a fresh pressed juice, signature brew or inspired rooftop view.

Come on over to our Mad-for-plaid digs with a copy of The Badger Herald and enjoy a sweet or treat at Portage Pi, our coffee & juice bar, or head up to The Madison Blind, our rooftop bar, to take in sweeping views over craft cocktails.

So whether you’re dropping in for a show at the Overture Center, in town for a meeting, or gearing up to “Jump Around” at Camp Randall, we’re here to make it memorable.

Our rooms are ready for a night like you’ve never had before, where little moments of surprise and discovery will meet you down every corridor and around each corner. This is Graduate– get ready to be inspired.

Guided group tours at 12pm and 2pm starting in the lobby

601 Langdon St.

Hilton Madison Monona Terrace

Hilton Madison Monona Terrace is located in the heart of downtown Madison, overlooking Lake Monona. Our splendid Madison, WI hotel is connected via a climate-controlled skywalk to the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center and is just blocks from the WI State Capitol and the University of Wisconsin Madison campus. Relax in elegantly comfortable rooms and take advantage of terrific dining, leisure and event options.

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

9 E. Wilson St.

Madison Central Library

Originally built in 1965, Madison's Central Library was redesigned as a 21st century library in 2013. The new library brings the library's vision of being "your place to learn, share, and create" to life with inviting public spaces, updated technology, and a focus on creative expression. The building is LEED-NC v. Gold certified.

Kids' Activities:  Stop by the Central Library Children’s Room from 2:30-4:00 for a building break. Build your own Lego buildings, creations, and more. For children ages 3-12 and their families.

Guided tours available at 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 3:15

Limited access to public space self-guided tours 11am-1pm, full public space access 1-5pm

201 W. Mifflin St.

Madison College

Never Stop Learning. Enhance your career, empower employees and explore new personal interests through more than 400 noncredit courses for home, work, life.

Courses are conveniently offered on days, evenings and weekends at Madison College campuses and facilities, and throughout the community at public schools, senior centers, neighborhood centers, libraries, and churches.

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

211 N. Carroll St.

The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club

With 373 guestrooms and over 27,000 square feet of meeting space steps from the Capitol Square and State Street, it’s easy to see why we are Madison’s hotel. Come find familiar, experience new, and stay in the heart of our treasured city – The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club.

Guided tours at 11am and 1pm meet in lobby at grand staircase

1 W. Dayton St.

UPDATE:  Unfortunately, The Masonic Center will not be able to participate in this year's Doors Open Madison event.

Madison Masonic Center

The Madison Masonic Center was built in 1923. Construction started in 1923 and finished 1925. Dedicated in the Wisconsin State Journal in September 1925.

It is an official state and local landmark listed on the National Register of Historic places. Over the years the Masonic center has hosted multiple types of events from weddings, banquets, graduations, fundraisers, craftaculars, Masonic lodge events, speakers, concerts, business meetings, and plays. The building has numerous spaces that can hold groups of multiple sizes ranging as small as 25 upwards of 1000.

The Masonic Foundation is comprised of Freemasons who meet with and work with one another to better themselves on a personal level and help charitable organizations such as the Children’s Dyslexia Center, Shriners hospitals, and many more.

301 Wisconsin Ave.

Madison Science Museum

The Madison Science Museum is a free hands-on museum for visitors of all ages. We are committed to inspiring visitors about the wonders of science in Wisconsin through four permanent exhibits and two temporary exhibits, as well as tours and educational programs. See, Explore & Discover the Science of Wisconsin!

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

211 N. Carroll St., 6th Floor

The Majestic Theatre

The Majestic Theatre is Madison, Wisconsin’s oldest theatre, opening on December 15, 1906 as a vaudeville theatre. Over the years, everything from silent movies to the shows of Harry Houdini have graced this historic stage. There were even a few years where the theatre showed movies that featured the letter “X” rather prominently after the title. After a brief incarnation as a dance club, the Majestic Theatre has returned to its history of show business roots — this time as a world-class live performing arts venue.

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

115 King St.

OPN Architects

Fire Station No. 2 is an award winning adaptive reuse of Madison's Fire Station No. 2, the first Madison fire station designed for motorized equipment. At the north corner of Broom and Johnson street, the handsome building of cream colored brick and limestone detailing is a testimony to the craftsmanship of local masons of 1921, when the structure was built.

One of the oldest standing fire stations in the City, No. 2 was abandoned in 1966 when an expanded modern facility was built a half a block east on Johnson Street. Vacant for a time, the building went through various incarnations including a warehouse and resale shop.

Renovated and expanded by ULI in 1980, the design celebrates the historic fire station's features and retaining its original character. The building is home to a distinctive collection of office spaces.

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

301 N. Broom St.

Park Hotel Madison

The original Park Hotel, opened in 1871 at 30 S. Carroll St., was a four-story structure with 118 sleeping rooms, built in response to threats from Legislators to make Milwaukee the state capital because of Madison's lack of a suitable hotel.

It was demolished in 1961 to make way for the hotel that now sits on the site. The new building got additions in the late 1970s, again in the mid-1980s and now a complete renovation completed in 2016.

Guided group tours at 11am and 1pm

22 S. Carroll St.

Red Gym / Armory and Gymnasium

1894, with major rehabilitation in 1998

Built in the distinctive Richardsonian Romanesque style, the Red Gym was formerly used for military training, sports events, and public gatherings. It was declared a National Landmark in 1994 for its role in the controversial 1904 Republican convention that launched “Fighting Bob” La Follette’s Progressive Party. Today the building hosts the Multicultural Student Center, International Student Services, and the Morgridge Center.

Open from 11-4
Guided Tour at 12pm
Meet at the front entry

716 Langdon St.

US Bank Plaza

The “Glass Bank Building,” US Bank Plaza, was dedicated in 1974. It is Madison’s only example of an international style or “glass box” high-rise.  It was designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill “SOM”, one of the largest and most influential architecture firms in the world.  The SOM Partner in Charge, Bruce Graham, worked with structural engineer,  Fazlur Kahm  on this notable project.  Together, Graham and Kahm , produced many significant buildings, including Chicago’s John Hancock Center, Willis Tower (Sears Tower) and the Inland Steel Building.

Since acquiring US Bank Plaza in 2008, Urban Land Interests has worked to update the building while remaining true to the original design intent.  Through sensitive renovations, ULI achieved LEED-Gold status for the building and was successful in cutting energy usage by more than 35% and improving water usage by 85%.

As part of the renovation, ULI restored the iconic murals in the building’s lobby.  The artwork consists of a series of dramatic murals by the Italian painter, Valerio Adami.

Family-friendly activities and entertainment by Piano Fondue, Dental Health Associates, Keva Sports Center in the lobby of US Bank Plaza from 11am-4pm.

JP Cullen is a fifth-generation family-owned construction company. They have been an integral part of Madison for over 100 years. Come see their newest space on the 3rd floor of the US Bank Building overlooking the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol, another one of JP Cullen’s hallmark restoration projects.

1 S. Pinckney St.

Union South


Stop by the Union South information desk to learn about all the campus sites participating in the Doors Open event. While here, check out the building’s prairie-style architecture and sustainable design features. Facilities include a three-level recreation venue for live music, bowling, billiards and rock climbing, a 330-seat cinema, an art gallery, a boutique hotel, a variety of event and meeting spaces as well as multiple eateries – including the Daily Scoop serving famous Babcock Hall ice cream.

UPDATE:  Experience the history of our beloved mascot, Bucky Badger, through a display of photos and artifacts that span 100+ years. The display will be available from 11am-4pm at the Campus and Community Information Desk.

Guided tours at 1pm and 3pm
Meet at the Campus and Community Information Desk

1308 W. Dayton St.

Washburn Observatory


A recent historically sensitive restoration has brought new life to this iconic campus landmark atop Observatory Hill. Enter through the south side door and climb the stairs to the dome to learn about the 15.6 inch refracting telescope, and enjoy views across Lake Mendota. Don’t miss exploring the first floor of the Observatory, including the former astronomy department library.

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

475 N. Charter St.

Wisconsin Historical Museum

Explore the stories, ideas, attitudes, work, and recreation that make up Wisconsin's rich history. Enter a replica of a 1,000-year-old house and examine a fur trade post. Walk into a lead mine and climb into a tractor cab. Share the stories of the ways people made a living and learn about Wisconsin's political heritage, ethnic diversity, and sense of community.

Visit from 11:00am until 4:00pm for fun family activities or self-guiding. Thirty minute tours occur on the hour from 11:00am until 3:00pm. You will see the coolest things most visitors never notice, hear stories most people never hear, and touch objects most visitors can’t touch.

Visit from 11:00am until 4:00pm for fun family activities or self-guiding.

Thirty-minute tours occur on the hour from 11:00am until 3:00pm. You will see the coolest things most visitors never notice, hear stories most people never hear, and touch objects most visitors can’t touch.

30 N. Carroll St.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Founded in 1846, the Wisconsin Historical Society is the oldest historical society in the United States to receive continuous public funding. Initial construction of the building began in 1900. In 2010, the library reading room was restored to its original grandeur. Come and see this historic building which serves over three million people annually and is one of the largest, most active and diversified state historical agencies in the country.

Guided building tours will be available.

816 State St.

Wisconsin Veterans Museum

For over one hundred years, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, an educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, has connected the past to the present by sharing the stories of Wisconsin’s military veterans. Located in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin, this award-winning museum and research center chronicles the history-shaping exploits of Wisconsin’s veterans from the Civil War to the present day.

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

30 W. Mifflin St.

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