In light of the news about an attempt to bulldoze an old home across from Madison’s historic Orton Park should also be placed the following story concerning the way the rest of the nation looks at these old homes in this same neighborhood.
Third Lake Ridge, a 30-block area two miles from downtown and the University of Wisconsin, was settled in the 1850s and prospered when it became a destination for German and Norwegian immigrants after the Civil War. It is now one of two local districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wisconsin’s capital city is known for its progressive politics, neighborhood activism and preservation, and stellar educational institutions: Madison’s highly lauded elementary, middle, and high schools make the city a magnet for families. Besides the state government, the University of Wisconsin and the growing high-tech and biotech industries are major employers.
Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Prairie School, and Craftsman houses are all here, along with more modest bungalows. The most coveted homes span the neighborhood’s mile of Lake Monona shoreline.
The range goes from $160,000 for a rough-around-the-edges Craftsman to $1 million for a lakeside mansion designed by Prairie School architects Louis W. Claude and Edward F. Stark.