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September 29, 2021

30 Photos Capture Street Scenes of Madison in the 1980s

Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the seat of Dane County. It is the second-largest city in Wisconsin by population, after Milwaukee, and the 80th-largest in the United States. The city forms the core of the Madison Metropolitan Area which includes Dane County and neighboring Iowa, Green, and Columbia counties.

Madison is named for American Founding Father and President James Madison. The city is located on the traditional land of the Ho-Chunk, and the Madison area is known as Dejope, meaning “four lakes”, or Taychopera, meaning “land of the four lakes”, in the Ho-Chunk language.

Located on an isthmus and lands surrounding four lakes—Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Waubesa—Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Overture Center for the Arts, and the Henry Vilas Zoo. The city is home to an extensive network of parks and bike trails; it has the most parks and playgrounds per capita of any of the 100 largest U.S. cities.

Madison is also home to nine National Historic Landmarks, including several buildings designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, such as his 1937 Jacobs I House, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

These photos were taken by Todd Jacobson that show street scenes of Madison in the 1980s.

West Mifflin Street along the Square, Madison, WI, fall 1984

Along Madison's Capitol Square, fall 1984

Bed races, UW Homecoming on State Street, Madison, fall 1984

Farmers market on the Square, Madison, WI, fall 1984

Purple rain at The Orpheum, State Street, Madison, fall 1984

Shops along Capitol Square, on East Mifflin Street, Madison, fall 1984

State & Lake looking to State Capitol, Madison near UW Campus, September 1984

State Street, Madison, after Homecoming Parade, fall 1984

State Street, Madison, fall 1984

Bike racing around the Square, Madison, July 1985

Lake Mendota, Madison, spring 1985

Library Mall, UW Madison, fall 1985

Looking along University Avenue to downtown Madison, 1985

Madison skyline from Van Hise Building (UW Campus), fall 1985

Madison, July 1985

Madison, July 1985

Near Library Plaza, UW Madison, 1985

State Street during "Maxwell Street Days", July 13, 1985

State Street during "Maxwell Street Days", July 13, 1985

State Street during “Maxwell Street Days”, a major sales event in downtown Madison, July 13, 1985

State Street, Madison, fall 1985

State Street, Madison, January 1985

Taking a rest with some spare legs, “Maxwell Street Days” on State Street, 1985

Students at Library Mall, Madison, WI, fall 1986

Budget bike shop on Regent Street, Madison, December 1987

Enjoying spring sunshine at Union Terrace, UW Madison, March 1987

Fairchild Street, looking to State Street, Madison, spring 1987

Gilman Street, south of state, Madison, WI, March 1987

State Street & Fairchild, Madison, WI, March 1987

Studying at UW Memorial Library, Madison, March 1987


  1. Thank you Captain Wikipedia. *eyeroll*

    1. Hey, at least it is not England. Crappy pics of Wisconsin instead of crappy pics of London is a step up, tbh.




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