Madison Capital Square: Wisconsin treasure - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Madison Capital Square: Wisconsin treasure

The Capital building in Madison, Wisconsin, was completed in 1917.  The architect was George Post of New York and it cost $7.25 million to build.  It is 284 ft, 5 in. to the top of the dome, three feet shorter than the capital building in Washington, DC.



The white granite on the outside is from Vermont and makes the dome the only granite dome in the United States.  It is the also the largest dome by volume in the United States and one of the largest in the world.  Inside the rotunda there is marble from Greece, Algeria, Italy and France; limestone from Minnesota; red granite from Wisconsin.


It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.



The statue on top of the dome is a sculpture by Daniel Chester French. He also did Abraham Lincoln of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. It is called “Wisconsin” and is a woman dressed in Greek fashion with an arm reaching out to symbolize the state motto – Forward. There is a badger on top of her helmet and she holds a globe with an eagle on top in her left hand. The eagle has a “W” on its chest.




Veteran's Museum

Veteran’s Museum


The square surrounding the capital holds the farmer’s market every weekend, weather permitting, as well as three museums, a gourmet cheese shop and several restaurants. The Children’s Museum, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the Wisconsin Historical Museum are all on the square. The Veterans Museum is especially interesting. It takes you through the wars Wisconsin citizens have participated in over the past 150 years and includes many personal artifacts and souvenirs.










We went into the gourmet cheese shop called Fromag-I-Nation and tasted a couple of blue cheeses, some cheddar cheeses, a sweet caramel-like cheese, and a local parmesan. They had an “orphan” bin filled with left over bits and pieces so I bought a nice variety of cheeses to sample.

Further down the square is the Graze Restaurant. It is an eclectic gastro pub that sources its food from local Wisconsin farmers. The weirdest thing I found on the menu was the Fried Chicken & Waffle with maple syrup and spiced butter. The burgers are pretty normal and very good.

Pub Burger – Beet & Walnut burger on an english muffin with fries and aioli.

The Graze Burger – Fresh ground bacon, sirloin, ribeye & short ribs, carmelized onions, Worcestershire-cabernet jus, Swiss Emmental, compound butter, SarVeccio sesame brioche, with fries and aioli.



About the author

Kathy Gamble

Kathleen Gamble was born and raised overseas and has traveled extensively. She has a BA in Spanish and has worked in publishing, printing, desktop publishing, translating, and purchasing. She also designs and creates her own needlepoint. She started journaling at a young age and her memoir, Expat Alien, came out of those early journals. Over the years she has edited and produced an American Women’s Organization cookbook in Moscow, Russia, and several newsletters. Her first book, Expat Alien, was published in 2012 and she recently published a cookbook, 52 Food Fridays, both available on You can also follow her blog at Contact the author.