Two years and $30 million later, Madison’s newly-restored municipal building to officially reopen

Take a look inside!
Two years and $30 million later, Madison’s newly-restored municipal building to officially reopen

Two years and $30 million later, Madison’s historic municipal building has been transformed from a neglected, worn, and cluttered maze into a modern masterpiece for both employees and the public to enjoy.

The project required temporarily moving 225 employees to other locations around the city.

Designers were careful to preserve the building’s history, using an interior design that combined glass, metal, white, gray, and earth tones to give the 90-year-old building an airy, modern feel.

The renovations are purposefully not too fancy: designers wanted to strike a balance between practical and professional.

The entire lower level and first floor were redone. More windows were added to let in natural light.

And the city is showcasing several local artists’ pieces around the building.

The municipal building was initially used as a federal courthouse in the 1920s, as well as a post office. The former federal courtroom was restored during renovations, using the original judge’s chair.

In fact, every detail of the building was considered, down to the paint on the windowsills, which was removed and returned to its original shade of green.

It was the first part of renowned urban planner John Nolen’s scheme to turn the street in between the State Capitol and Lake Monona into a civic boulevard.

The public is invited to explore the newly-finished building from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Mayor Paul Soglin will be joined by Madison poet Oscar Mireles for a building dedication ceremony at noon. Meantime, people can walk through the building’s history-steeped halls and enjoy some free food, musical performances, and art displays.

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