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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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University Heights -view from hilltop (DHP photo)

University Heights -205 Princeton Ave. (DHP photo, 1978)

University Heights -207 N. Spooner St. (DHP photo)

University Heights Historic District
Madison, Dane County
Dates of contributing buildings: 1894-1965

In 1893 former Madison mayor and prominent lawyer, Breese J. Stevens, sold a 106 acre parcel to the University Heights Company for $53,000. The principal officers of the Company were William T. Fish, a prominent contractor and pioneering Madison suburb developer, and Burr W. Jones, a noted attorney. The plat was given a topographically influenced, curvilinear plan. Streets named after past University presidents were intended to appeal to faculty of the nearby University of Wisconsin campus.

Construction on this hilltop neighborhood began in 1894. Large, impressive homes were clustered just below the summit, while smaller houses were built in the north portion of the development. The earliest houses in the neighborhood are examples of the Shingle and the Queen Anne styles. Later homes exhibited Period Revival, Craftsman and Prairie designs. As one of Madison's leading neighborhoods, it features many architecturally important residences including Louis Sullivan's Bradley House, Frank Lloyd Wright's Gilmore House, George Fred Keck's Morehouse House, and many homes by leading Madison architects like Claude and Stark, Alvin Small, and Law, Law and Potter.

The neighborhood housed many of the city's intellectual elite, including numerous University faculty who achieved recognition for their academic and scientific studies. Also located in the district is the home of John Olin, who was instrumental in developing Madison's park system. Upon his death, the large house was bequeathed to the university and serves as the home of the University of Wisconsin system president.

The houses in this neighborhood are private residences. Please respect the rights and privacy of the owners.


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