Landmarks Commission Deems Fairchild Building Historic

The city’s Landmarks Commission on Monday night unanimously voted to identify the Fairchild Building as historic and advised city officials to stop plans to demolish it.

The building, located at 122-124 W. Mifflin St., is part of the proposed 100 Block of State Street Development Project.

As part of its vote, the Landmarks Commission recommended that the Madison Plan Commission not to allow the building to be torn down.

However, the Fairchild Building hasn’t been formally identified as a historic landmark so the Landmarks Commission has no direct jurisdiction over the building, said Madison Alder Mike Verveer.

During Monday’s meeting, the Landmarks Commission also deferred voting on the fate of the Schubert Building, located at 120 W. Mifflin St., according to Stu Levitan, Landmarks Commission chair.

Since the Schubert Building is a designated landmark, the Landmarks Commission must approve a certificate of appropriateness before Schubert is demolished or substantially altered, Verveer said.

But the verdict doesn’t discourage Block 100 Foundation manager George Austin, who said that he doesn’t think the vote is a setback.

“Madison is a city that has many opinions, so this is a way of getting from point A to point B,” said Austin.

That was indicated by the approximately two dozen community testimonies given at the Landmarks Commission meeting. An almost equal number of people in support or in opposition of the 100 Block Project were present. The 100 Block proposal includes building new, contemporary architecture and outdoor eating spaces on the 100 Block of State Street.

The buildings are owned by Overture Center philanthropist Jerry Frautschi. The project will be privately funded.

The proposal will go to the Urban Design Commission on March 7, back to the Landmarks Commission on March 12 and to the Plan Commission on March 19.