- Where to Go
- The Best of Milwaukee and Madison
- The Best Wisconsin Weekends
- A Perfect Week in Door County
- Wisconsin for Recreationists
- Rustic Road Tripping
- Made in Milwaukee
- Madison Weekend
- Sports: The Packers and Beyond
- Out on the Town in Milwaukee
- Say Cheese!
- Four Days in the Mad City
- A Wisconsin Family Road Trip
- Wisconsin’s Best Brews
Garish white whale or architectural cornerstone? You be the judge of Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center (1 John Nolen Dr., 608/261-4000, www.mononaterrace.com). Madisonians may never come to terms with their decades-old love-hate relationship with it. Supporters hoped that the structure, which some call Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, partially atop Lake Monona on pylons, would draw attention (and moneyed conventioneers) to Madison; critics moaned that it was yet another civic white elephant—and a monument to someone they considered an egotistical SOB.
Wright’s hoped-for design included much, much more than was finally constructed, and only three years after it opened its structures already required repairs. (Sorry, but that’s so Frank Lloyd Wright, even admirers would have to admit!) But even opponents admit that nothing like it exists in a city of comparative size.
Most visitors simply wander about, taking in the views; a photography gallery highlighting Wright’s work is inside, as is the Madison Sports Hall of Fame. If you get a chance, get a glimpse of it from a canoe in the early morning sun. Wow.
Monona Terrace is open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily. The rooftop garden area is open till 10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, till midnight Friday and Saturday. Guided tours ($3) are available at 1 p.m. daily. Free concerts are offered often during summer.
© Thomas Huhti from Moon Wisconsin, 5th Edition