Thursday, May 17, 2007

Condos after Dark: Doty School Condominiums

Not all Madison condos dominate the city skyline at night like dark, high-rise intruders from another planet. Some, like the Doty School Condominiums, nestle quietly into their neighborhoods, where they've been at home for years, architectural landmarks whose lights provide a neighborly glow, like the windows of people you've always known who live down the street. These are the historic buildings that have been sensitively restored and converted to condos.

Doty School was designed by the famous early 20th century Madison architectural firm of Claude and Starck, which designed some 175 buildings in Madison. It opened in 1906 and only served as a school for three decades, being replaced by Washington School in the 1930s. After closing as a school it hosted a number of municipal offices, including the Board of Education, which in turn moved to Washington School when that school closed in the sixties. From the Madison Department of Planning & Development's Madison Landmarks" list:
156. Doty School
351 W. Wilson Street
Claude and Starck, architects

Built during a population boom in Madison, Doty School replaced the smaller Fourth Ward School built on this site in 1866. When it opened, the new school was renamed for Madison’s founder, James Duane Doty, the person responsible for Madison’s selection as the state capital in 1836. Claude and Starck were prolific local architects who designed school houses across the state, as well as many of Madison’s turn-of-the-century residences. The building was converted to condominiums in 1983.
Doty School was one of the first projects of Urban Land Interests, the Madison developers who got their start restoring and converting historically significant downtown properties and later branched into new construction. The building is still a gem. Unfortunately it's now overshadowed (and some of its views are blocked) by its high-rise next-door neighbor, Nolen Shore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thank you for your thoughtful description of Doty School and its history. As an owner/resident since October 2002, I can think of no other place I'd rather live. ksd