The Tenney Building

110 E. Main St.     Built 1929 by Charles H. Tenney
This wasn't the first Tenney Building on that site. D.K. Tenney, Charles' uncle, bought a half interest in a hotel at the corner of Pinckney and Main streets in 1870. The hotel was torn down seven years later and the first three-story Tenney Building was erected. Tenants of that building included a restauranteur who served frog legs from frogs raised on the premises. The three-story building was replaced in 1929 by the current 10-story building, which was Madison's first steel-frame high-rise.

D.K. Tenney, a lawyer and the city's only Republican alderman at the time, earned a great deal of money representing people whose homes and businesses were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. He fought plans to attract manufacturing to Madison because he believed the city should instead market its beauty as a recreation area.

Tenney later battled a proposed sewage system that stopped the practice of dumping raw sewage into Lake Monona, advocating instead that the city pipe its sewage farther out in the lake and dump it in deeper water.