The first thing to understanding the architecture of Wisconsin's captial city, Madison is to recognize the capital building itself. The capital stands proudly, mostly due to the fact that no building is legally allowed to be taller than it. This gives Madison that great small town feel despite a decent size population. The original capital building went up in 1837 but was largely destroyed by a fire in 1904. 1917 saw the revised completetion including the large granite dome atop the building and bringing attention to the bronze statue, appropriately named "Wisconsin", which symbolizes the state's motto "Forward." If you think the capital is very reminiscent to the national capital, it's for good reason, it was modeled after Washington D.C.'s building.

 Aside from the majestic capital building and past the "square" on which it sits, many other buildings were designed by German-born architect, August Kutzbock, who actually completed the capital building as well. For this reason, the city has a sense of congruent design and overall feels very "Americana".

Some other noteworthy buildings include the Orpheum Theater built in 1927 and is a grand example of the early days to cinema culture. Only a block away however, is the modernly beautiful Overture Center for the Arts which was just recently completed in 2005.

 The old and charming buildings of the University of Wisconsin make for a European-feel. In contrast, the bright Monona Terrace is a city-highlight best seen across Lake Monona from John Nolen Drive. The building is a tribute to Wisconsin-born architect, known as the best architect of the world, Frank Lloyd Wright.  Taking a tour of this incredible building is definitely worthwhile.