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The First Settlement District of Capitol Neighborhoods Inc. is brainstorming new improvements for one of the few outdoor public spaces in the neighborhood – Crowley Station platform. The improvements made to the space will be funded in part by the City of Madison Neighborhood Grant Program.

Crowley Station is a two-tiered concrete platform above Madison Water Utility well #17 at 201 S. Hancock Street. It is located at an important entryway to the State Capitol and downtown Madison. It is adjacent on one side to John Nolen Drive and Lake Monona and on the other side a National Register Historic District with food, retail, and service businesses. East Wilson Street is a busy route for cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians who see Crowley Station on their commute.


In 2010, Crowley Station platform received significant improvements by First Settlement neighbors with funds from Madison Water Utility. This included the addition of outdoor seating and tables on the upper tier. Then in 2014, it became home to Crowley Station Community Gardens (CSCG), which has 20 raised beds on the lower tier. This current project will respect what is already in place and continue the work that many neighbors have done to create this concrete platform into a great public space.


This project is important to the community because it aims to boost the utilization of one of First Settlements only gathering places. It will not only attract First Settlement residents, but the many visitors to downtown as well. Creating a strong sense of place on the platform will improve the aesthetics for pedestrians and bicyclists on East Wilson Street and benefit downtown as a whole by creating a more vibrant gateway.

See more about our process and get involved this October:

Goals for this project include:

  • Enhance the space to create a destination that encourages community use

  • Create a sense of identity and place that draws visitors of the area to stop and enjoy the platform with its view of Lake Monona

  • Use art and design elements to welcome people to the downtown area and create a more appealing pedestrian and bike experience on East Wilson Street

  • Bring community members together in the process of designing and implementing this project

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