Attepts to Move Capitol to Milwaukee
1870s At decade's dawn, as Madison continues to fend off efforts to move the capital to Milwaukee, a constant and valid criticism is the city's lack of a first-class hotel. The Park Hotel is the business community's response. In February 1870, during consideration of one more relocation bill, leading Madisonians seek state incorporation of the Park Hotel Company. The Assembly kills the relocation bill 55-31 on March 9, 1870, but the incorporation efforts continue. On March 18, 1870, the legislature charters Park Hotel Company; the great Founder Simeon Mills will become president, former governor Lucius Fairchild and former mayor Andrew Proudfit are among the directors. The hotel gets good marks when it opens on August 19, 1871. Originally set for Mills' corner at Wisconsin and Main, then moved to the highest point between the lakes, the $125,000 edifice suits its new site well. Four stories of brick and stone under an elaborate mansard roof, a double-decker piazza along its 116 feet of Carroll Street frontage, the hotel has 118 sleeping rooms and boasts every convenience -- including the first full indoor plumbing on the Square.