Monday, June 20, 2016

Mansion Hill Architectural Gems

Keenan Home (1857)
After visiting the Period Garden Park, I spent some time wandering around the Mansion Hill neighborhood admiring the beautiful historical architecture. The area, situated around Gilman and Pickney streets, is an easy walk north of Capitol Square. The plaques in front of some of the homes indicate that they were built around the 1850's, at a time when this was one of the most prestigious neighborhoods of the city. During the 19th century, Mansion Hill (also known as Aristocrat Hill, Yankee Hill, and Big Bug Hill) was home to the movers and shakers of the city, including many successful bankers, railroad lawyers, University regents, professors, governors, mayors, and judges.

Pierce House (1857)
Some, such as the Pierce House (above), are now boutique hotels. Others are divided up into multiple apartments or are offices for lawyers and businesses. 
Keys House (1853)
Sadly, during the 1950s - 1970s, some of the buildings were demolished to make way for restaurants, office buildings, and apartments. While on my walk, I even found a sign indicating that it was once the site of a boyhood home of Frank Lloyd Wright. 
In 1977, the Mansion Hill neighborhood was designated as a historical district, which encouraged the preservation of its historical buildings. Today, it has the largest concentration of intact Victorian homes within Madison.

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