Nathaniel W. Dean House
4718 Monona Dr. Built 1856 Madison Landmark National Register
Nathaniel Dean was an Assemblyman, a regent of the University of Wisconsin, and a stockholder in insurance companies and the Park Hotel, a dry goods merchant and a real estate speculator. Dean also operated a real estate business, which included buying and selling a considerable share of the property in the Monona area.
After selling his King Street business in Madison in the 1850s, Dean built this Greek Revival yellow brick house in 1856 as the nucleus of his 500 acre farming operation. Although the home was built as a rental property, the Deans moved into the building when their home in Madison was moved off the site of the Park Hotel.
Because Mrs. Dean probably preferred downtown Madison, their tenure in the home was brief. The Deans left the home to live in the Park Hotel, letting the house to tenants.
Harriet Dean sold the house to Frank Allis after Nathaniel died in 1880. Allis rented the house to Prof. William Marshall Sr., who used it as a summer home with the La Follette sons, Robert Jr. and Philip, as visitors. Adolph H. Kayser (then Mayor of Madison) bought the house from Allis, and owned it until 1922.
The city of Madison acquired the property in 1928 from a private golf club that started in 1922. When the city of Madison determined that the Dean House was no longer suitable for a golfer's clubhouse, the old cream brick house was slated to be razed in 1971.
The Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society assumed the responsibility of saving and restoring the structure. The city of Madison has given the society a lease for the building, and the former Dean home was declared a Madison and National Landmark.