Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Capitol Square has long been the heart of the city
The Madison Heritage Series
People began building businesses on Capitol Square in 1837. The first settlers lived on King Street, and downtown centered on the intersection of King, Main and Pinckney streets. The earliest hotels appeared on Pinckney Street, to host visiting legislators and government officials, and James Richardson opened Madisonís first bank on the corner of Pinckney Street and East Washington Avenue.
Madisonís first trains arrived in 1854, and growth on the square continued as businesses sought to attract rail-riding customers from nearby depots. The squareís status as Madisonís first business hub helped make it the cityís favorite place for political speeches, parades, holiday events, protests, outdoor markets and victory celebrations.
Standing here and looking down Pinckney Street toward Lake Monona in 1885, you would have observed a vital thoroughfare, part of Madisonís original downtown. At that time, the square as a whole boasted 124 stores. Capitol Square remained Madisonís liveliest shopping district until well into the 20th century. At that time, the green space around the capitol was also the cityís
Erected 2006 by City of Madison.
Location. 43° 4.529′ N, 89° 22.968′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of East Washington Avenue and South Pinckney Street, on the left when traveling west on East Washington Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 South Pinckney Street, Madison WI 53703, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Outdoor markets are a Madison tradition (within shouting distance of this marker); American Exchange Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); American House (within shouting distance of this marker); Olson and Veerhusen Building / Hobbins Block (within shouting distance of this marker); Maeder Building / Ellsworth Block (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hans Christian Heg (about 300 feet away); Winterbotham Building (about 400 feet away); Suhr Bank Building (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
More about this marker. This marker is part of the The Madison Heritage Series, Sharing Our Legacy, created
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 23, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 646 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 24, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.