Madison’s rightful claim to fame is its National Historic Landmark District, one of the largest contiguous Landmark Districts in the United States. This prestigious award was bestowed on the city in 2006 after an extensive nomination process that included site surveys of 2,000+ downtown buildings, 700 local letters of support and a special study conducted by the National Park System Advisory Board.
Why is this a big deal?
National Historic Landmark Districts are designated by the Secretary of the Interior as outstanding examples of our country’s heritage. They are significant places where Americans and visitors from other countries can gain an understanding of how the United States developed. During its nomination process, the number and variety of Madison’s historic buildings dating from the early 1800’s – 1940 was found to be exceptional. The town’s architecture reflected how river port cities developed and played a vital role in America’s economic growth.
The District comprises more than 100 blocks of historic buildings in Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, and other architectural styles that served as domestic, commercial, public, religious, and industrial buildings through that time period reflecting the history of America.
To read more about the process of how Madison’s National Historic District came to be, click on these links to news stories and related websites.
Dept. of Interior Announcement
Wikipedia – Madison Historic District