The City of Madison is rich with historic and cultural resources that are integral to the City's thriving quality of life.  City-owned properties that are locally designated landmarks, located in historic districts, or listed on the National Register of Historic Places are considered historic resources.  

Alterations to these historic resources require additional review and approval to protect the historic resource and to comply with Madison General Ordinances and State Statutes for historic preservation.

When city-owned historic resources require maintenance or alteration, the Facilities Section works with the Historic Preservation Section of the Planning Division and the Wisconsin Historical Society to ensure the resource’s protection and appropriate treatment.

Some examples of Facilities work at city-owned historic resources include:

Madison Municipal Building

215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Designated City Landmark
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Originally constructed between 1927-1929 as the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, the building was purchased by the City in 1978 for use as municipal offices and renamed the Madison Municipal Building.  The building is considered a landmark due to its architectural significance as an excellent example of the Neo-Classical Revival Style in the City.

The Facilities Section managed the $30 million renovation and restoration of the Madison Municipal Building in 2016-2018.  This project included the restoration of original windows, the restoration of the masonry exterior, the construction of a rear addition, the installation of a green roof, the installation of energy efficient HVAC and lighting systems, and the restoration of the historic courtroom and other historic spaces.

Gates of Heaven


300 E Gorham Street
Designated City Landmark
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Located in Mansion Hill Historic District (City Designated)
Located in Mansion Hill National Register Historic District

Gates of Heaven was the first synagogue constructed in Wisconsin and was designed by Madison architect, August Kutzbock in the Romanesque Revival Style. Gates of Heaven was relocated to James Madison Park in 1971 after being slated for demolition.  The building is historically significant as a religious center during the later portion of Madison’s development period.

The Facilities Section recently managed the re-pointing of the rear apse and the installation of a historically appropriate cedar shingle roof.  An extensive exterior restoration is planned for Spring 2021.

Forest Hill Cemetery and Effigy Mound Group

1 Speedway Road
Designated City Landmark
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Forest Hill Cemetery, platted between 1857 and 1862, is significant as an example of the development of American landscape architecture and the rural cemetery movement. Rural cemeteries of the mid-19th century are identified by scenic qualities that provided vistas where visitors could rest and contemplate and by roads and paths that followed the natural topography.

Recognizing the beauty of this site hundreds of years earlier, indigenous people constructed 7 mounds on this site between 650-1200 A.D. 1 mound was damaged by railroad construction and 3 mounds were destroyed by early cemetery expansion. 3 mounds and part of the damaged mound remain unharmed. Forest Hill Cemetery is also historically significant due to the location of a grouping of mounds on the same site as the cemetery.  

The Facilities Section recently managed the exterior restoration of buildings at Forest Hill Cemetery including the Catlin Chapel constructed 1878, the Receiving Vault constructed circa 1870, and the Mausoleum constructed 1916.

More information about historic resources can be found at the Planning Division Historic Preservation website.