We spend a lot of time in and around Madison, Wisconsin, and so know quite a lot about the city and the area. However, we know that not everyone does.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Madison, Wisconsin.
1. It’s the City of Four Lakes
Madison is known as the city of Four Lakes: Lake Monona, Lake Mendota, Lake Waubesa, and Lake Kegonsa, although there is a fifth, the contested Lake Wingra. It’s also known as Mad City, or Mad Town.
Another thing to know about Madison is that it is one of just 2 cities in the USA built on an isthmus, a narrow strip of land connecting two larger areas of land with water on either side. The other is Seattle.
2. It’s named after James Madison
Madison was founded in 1829 after James Duane Doty purchased land to build a city on the Four Lakes region.
The city gets its name from the 4th President of the USA, James Madison, who died in 1836, and the streets are named for the other 39 signers of the US Constitution.
The population of Madison is around 250,000, making it the seconds largest city in Wisconsin after Milwaukee.
Perhaps surprisingly, approximately half the population here is under 30.
4. Quality of life
The City of Four Lakes consistently ranks in top 10s of places to live according to Livability and Business Insider, work , study and play in America, and even retire thanks to its fairly small population, quality of life and relatively liberal outlook.
No matter what the ‘Best place to…’ is about Madison is likely to be on the list. There is lots to like about Madison whatever your age or reasoning for coming or living here.
Temperatures range from well below freezing in the winter to as high as 90°F in the summer.
It’s also well respected by foodies, and music lovers too.
And employment is high whilst crime and poverty are low.
As many as 60% of residents have a degree, and students and university faculty make up over 30% of the population here. Which goes some way to keeping the average age under 30.
With 40,000 students it’s not surprising that the University of Wisconsin is one of the Big Ten universities.
A staggering 24 Pulitzer and 19 Noble Prize winner are University of Wisconsin Alumni or Faculty staff.
6. The Madison State Capitol Building
The State Capitol is over 200ft high, and the dome is the second highest in the USA; only Washington DC is higher.
State law says that no buildings can be taller or overshadow the State Capitol.
7. We like our books
Perhaps thanks to, or because of, the importance of education here, residents buy more books in Madison than anywhere else in the USA, per capita.
8. Famous people
Madison is known for several famous people, from sportspeople to entertainments stars, writers and politicians.
Perhaps the most notable are Architect Frank Lloyd Wright who built Gilmore House here 1908, and Otis Redding who died here when his plane crashed into Lake Monona in 1967. Staying on the music theme, notable musician and producer Butch Vig is from Madison.
9. Film locations
Several movies have been filmed in Madison, and Hollywood stars such as Julia Roberts, Christian Bale and Johnny Depp have been seen in the city.
However, these films often don’t do as well as expected, causing some people to wonder if there was a curse on them.
One the things that people love about Madison is that there are around 260 parks in and around Madison, and many cyclists, leading some people to say that bikes outnumber cars here.
Lots of residents choose to walk rather than drive or take public transport, which helps reduce pollution and improves their health too.
Now you’ve learnt some things you didn’t know about Madison, perhaps we can tempt you to come here.
If you do decide to move here, or live here already, we’d love to help you with any home maintenance or repair jobs you need doing.