Judge James Duane Doty traveled through Madison’s isthmus in 1829 and liked it so much that he bought most of the area. Madison’s first residents were German, Irish, and Norwegian immigrants. Italians, Greeks, Jews, and African Americans joined the vibrant city at the turn of the 20th century.
An integral part of Madison’s history is, of course, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, it has since been at the center of the entire state’s political and intellectual life.
Madison Metropolitan School District has a respectable Niche rating of B+. The district’s student-to-teacher ratio is 12:1 and has A grades in teachers, diversity, college prep, and athletics.
With so much culture and excitement packed into a tiny isthmus, downtown Madison’s real estate market is extremely competitive and pricey when compared to surrounding communities. But, if you can make it work, it’s worth it. To the northeast of the capitol is one of Madison’s most historic areas, with abundant Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Victorian architecture. We recommend landing an updated condo with a nice view in the $250-350K range.