Created By: Madison Main Street Program
When you look at Madison’s City Hall, it appears that the stately limestone building on the corner of Main and West Street houses the entire municipal seat of government. But that’s just an illusion. Actually, the two adjoining three-story buildings are also a part of the city’s property. How that happened is an interesting story.
Back in 1853, before the Civil War, a three story building half the width of today’s City Hall stood on the corner of West and Main. For more than 60 years it served the community as the First National Bank. Then in 1926, the Board of Directors decided to construct a new Classic Revival limestone building to replace it. Fifteen years later, a second matching limestone building was built next door. Each building had its own entrance. In 1963, the buildings merged into one structure and the front entrance was remodeled to its appearance today. As the bank continued to grow, more offices and meeting rooms were needed, so in 1972 the two adjacent three-story buildings were acquired. Finally in 1990, City Hall moved to this location. Inside, you can still see vestiges of the bank. Two large bank vaults remain, and the dais where the City Council conducts business was where the tellers once greeted customers.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Loft Tour