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In Perspective: Historic Madison, Inc.
It has long been said: “Geography is destiny.”
Indeed, historians observe that many of the world’s greatest cities owe their present stature to their historic locations on strategic rivers and waterways. Istanbul has the Bosporus, Rome has the Tiber, Paris the Seine, London the Thames, and the list goes on.
Geography has shaped the destiny of Madison, Indiana as well. To be sure, Madison’s endurance since its founding in 1809 can be attributed to its opportune location on the Ohio River.
Beautifully nestled against the protective hills of Southern Indiana, the Madison community flourished during the early heyday of the Ohio River. Settlers migrating from eastern seaboard states to the Old Northwest Territory resulted in Madison developing a large collection of important and noteworthy early American architecture.
Today, thanks in part to the sustained efforts of Historic Madison, Inc., many of Madison’s historic treasures have survived intact, each one a witness to the community’s rich Ohio River heritage.
Founded in 1960 by Mr. and Mrs. John T. Windle and a group of like-minded business people, Historic Madison Inc. is a not-for-profit historic preservation organization dedicated to enriching Madison’s future by valuing its past.
John Windle believed that Madison’s future rested in improving the physical assets already present. While other communities were quick to demolish their historic structures, Madison instead began to rebuild and renovate its historic resources.
Over the past 54 years, Historic Madison, Inc. has played a key role in the preservation, restoration, education, and development of Madison’s unique 133-block historic district, designated by the National Park Service as a National Historic Landmark District.
Historic Madison, Inc. has had a huge impact in the city of Madison. The organization owns, operates and maintains 16 properties; four of the properties are open as museums and others are opened for special occasions.
The organization has been heralded as a trusted advocate for the preservation and sensitive development of the community’s historic treasures.