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About this Tour

Travel Resources: Headliner

Decades before most other cities engaged in historic preservation activities, Madison's residents demonstrated pride in their built heritage and fought to preserve the nineteenth century architecture. In fact, Madison was the first city in Indiana to enact laws to protect landmark buildings with the first zoning laws enacted in 1954 and the first preservation laws enacted in 1961. This local action was quickly backed by the state through the efforts of State Representative and Madison attorney Joseph Hensley and Indiana's first preservation laws were passed statewide. Without such early intervention, Madison's historic buildings that display some of the best craftsmanship of the era may have been lost forever.

Historic preservation activities, pride in the city's historic structures, and designation as one of America's largest National Historic Landmark Districts have combined to ensure the continued survival and impressively high historic integrity of Madison's architectural heritage. It is the intention of this tour to tell the often unknown or untold stories of the various buildings, their histories, and the preservation efforts that have been undertaken to save these cultural heritage resources. 

Travel Resources: Welcome

Our Partners:

Travel Resources: Pro Gallery

Thank you to our partners who helped research building history, provided photographs, and helped form this tour. 

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Betsy Lyman,

Local Historian

Brent Spry,


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