Some of the best, most insightful walking tours of Madison’s historic neighborhoods are the subject of a series of free, self-guided tours published from 1986-2002 by the Madison Landmarks Commission and other local organizations interested in historic preservation. Originally published as small paperback brochures, a limited number were available free at Madison’s public libraries – and they were snapped up quickly. They are now out of print. Happily, however, they are available free from the City of Madison Planning Division as downloadable PDFs.
Even though some of these guides are almost 30 years old, most of the information they provide is still accurate – although you will discover that some buildings have vanished in the intervening years.
A list of the available brochures (with a link to the downloadable version) is available on a separate page at Quintessential Madison.