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A Self-Guided Walk in the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood

This 3.7 mile walk through the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood in Madison's isthmus highlights some of the important features and buildings in the neighborhood.  The descriptions come from two brochures published by the Madison Landmarks Commission and the neighborhood:   The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood: A Walking Tour (1997),  and The Old Market Place Neighborhood: A Walking Tour (1991).   Both brochures have many more landmarks not described in the walk listed below.

This guide is meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 


Tenney Park and Sherman Avenue

The walk starts at the Tenney Park locks located at 1500 Sherman Avenue.   Parking is available on N. Thornton Avenue across from the locks.   To start, walk past the locks onto the breakwater where you have wonderful views of the lake.  Then take the pedestrian path west along Lake Mendota until you come to the first stop, 1250 Sherman Avenue. 

This guide is designed to be used with a smartphone.   When you click on the underlined links for each address, you will get a fuller description of each of the houses.

1250 Sherman Avenue - 1929, Tudor Revival Style

1228 Sherman Avenue - 1895, Queen Anne Style

1127 Sherman Avenue - 1916, Prairie School Style

1047 Sherman Avenue - 1916, Prairie School Style

1040 Sherman - 1916, Georgian Revival

1031 Sherman - 1938, Wrightian Style

1010 Sherman Avenue - 1913, Prairie School Style


East Gorham Street and Prospect Place

At the end of Sherman avenue, turn left on N. Brearly street for a half block until you reach E. Gorham street.   Turn right on E. Gorham street.

On the south side of the 900 block of E. Gorham you will see a number of brick apartment buildings, the Norris Court Apartments.

At the beginning of the 900 block of E. Gorham, turn right on N. Paterson street for one block until you reach Prospect Place.

818, 822, 831, 844 Prospect Place -  Claude & Starck Houses

At the intersection of Prospect Place/Washburn Place, walk down Washburn Place one block until you reach E. Gorham and turn right.

802 E. Gorham - 1901, Claude & Starck

803 E. Gorham - 1870, Vernacular 19th Century

752 E. Gorham - 1857, Gothic Revival Style

720 E. Gorham - 1915-1916, Lincoln School

703 E. Gorham - 1868, Italianate Style

640, 646, 704 E. Gorham - 1908-1920

Note the wonderful garden at 704 E. Gorham, home of Mendota Lake House Bed & Breakfast.

637 E. Gorham - 1925, Late Georgian

Now you will be walking west on E. Gorham along  James Madison Park.

622 1/2 E. Gorham - 1915, Bernard-Hoover Boat House

Just before the Gates of Heaven Synagogue note the monument to the 45,000 International Volunteers who fought for the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

302 E. Gorham - 1863, Gates of Heaven Synagogue

Now backtrack to the corner of E. Gorham/N. Blount and walk south on N. Blount for two blocks to E. Dayton street.


East Dayton Street to Lapham School

202 N. Blount  - 1910-1914, City Horse Barn

At the corner of N. Blount/E. Dayton, note the sign denoting Madison's first African-American neighborhood.

647 E. Dayton - 1853, Miller house

649 E. Dayton - 1901 and 1912, Hill house & grocery

123 N. Blount - 1909-1910, Badger State Shoe Factory

917, 919, 921, 923, 925 E. Dayton - 1915-1916, John Blake bungalows

939, 941 E. Dayton - 1915, Michael Olbrich bungalows


Lapham School to Tenney Park

1045 E. Dayton - 1939-1940, Lapham School

124 N. Baldwin - 1873, Second Empire Style

Continue east on E. Dayton Street where you will reach the Yahara River.  Follow the bike/pedestrian path under E. Johnson where you can explore Tenney Park before returning to the starting point.


Compiled by Bob Shaw -

August 2020

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supported in part by:

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6209 Mineral Point Road #203
Madison, WI 53705

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