The Loraine, once Madison's most prestigious hotel and a hangout for state legislators and other luminaries, has been a Madison fixture just a block from the Capitol since 1924. From the history page on its website:
The Loraine was originally conceived in 1922 by Milwaukee hotelier Walter Schroeder as a 250 room hotel. Architect Herbert Tullgren designed the Tudor Revival structure and construction was completed by June, 1924. Hotel Loraine (named after a niece of Mr. Schroeder who died during the course of construction) was so popular that a 100 room addition was completed one year later in 1925.Among Hotel Loraine's guests during its glory years were Ethel Barrymore, Gloria Swanson, Mae West, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy. It was declared a historic landmark due to its history, location and architectural significance.
Hotel Loraine was the largest and arguably the most prestigious hotel in Madison. At an initial cost of $1,100,000, Hotel Loraine was the most expensive commercial building in Madison. Its prominent location on the site of Henry Proudfit's home provided a seamless link between the affairs of Wisconsin's government at the State Capitol and the academia at the University of Wisconsin.
In 2004, the conversion of The Loraine to luxury condos was completed, giving it a head-start on the current downtown condo building boom -- and its example also helped jump-start that boom. With its early start, it has a considerably higher sell-through rate than most of the other recent condo developments in Madison. According to the update on the local condo market in Sunday's Wisconsin State Journal, nearly 79 percent of The Loraine's 84 units have been sold, much better than most (the units that remain unsold include many of the more expensive luxury penthouses).
The article also reports that developers who once planned on a two-to-three-year turnaround for condo projects now expect something more like six to eight years. The slow market is also seeing some developers offer leases with options buy, with some of the rent applied to a downpayment in the event of purchase.
NOTE: As noted by Dr. Diablo in the Comments, the quotes in the WSJ article are more positive than the data seems to suggest. In fact, the real story is in the chart that illustrates sales in nine Madison-area condos, only three of which are more than 50 percent sold. Click here for 372kb PDF.