William T. & Jane Leitch House

752 E. Gorham St.     Built 1856-58     Madison Landmark     National Register     Gothic Revival     August Kutzbock

Made with buff-colored sandstone blocks quarried in Maple Bluff and Westport that were transported across Lake Mendota, and cut on the building site. The mansion is considered one of the finest remaining examples of Gothic architecture in the country, and is the only one of its kind in Madison. Built by William Leitch, a Madison mayor during the Civil War, it was patterned after a Salem, Massachusetts house built in 1629. Nine original fireplaces, three of white Italian marble, one of park marble, plus one with hand-painted Florentine tiles and another with cherubs of gold Dutch tile.

The exterior is characterized by high peaked gables, decorative barge-boards, spike finials, central cupola, five chimneys, some topped with tall hexagonal chimneypots, are characteristic of old England. The glass “lantern” room on the roof is topped by wrought iron railing, as are two front verandas. The wrought iron “pantylace” fencing around the yard is part of the fence that surrounded Forest Hill Cemetery; other sections of the fence are now at Olbrich Gardens.

Formerly had a cow house, stable, and carriage house that were lost when the property was subdivided. No longer in use are the English-style basement kitchen and cooks' quarters, from which food was sent via dumbwaiter to the “warming room,” where servants reheated food in the open fireplace before serving it.

Reportedly had a tunnel built in the 19th century to the Walker Castle two blocks away. Intrigued by the notion of the secret tunnel, former owners tried to find it, only to learn that it had been buried by water and sewer lines. The basement was a play area of Frank Lloyd Wright who's boyhood home was accross the street.

The Livingston Inn for several years.