Doors Open Madison 2017 – April 23

Doors Open Madison is a fun, free and local experience providing community members with an opportunity to explore one-of-a-kind buildings and businesses across the city and campus.

Organized by Downtown Madison Inc., the 2017 Doors Open Madison event will take place on Sunday, April 23 from 11am-4pm.

The event will feature 25 buildings and tours throughout the city, including tours and access to UW-Madison’s Bascom Hill, Red Gym, Union South and Washburn Observatory.

Union South
Stop by the Union South information desk to learn about all the campus sites participating in the Doors Open event. While here, check out the building’s prairie-style architecture and sustainable design features. Facilities include a three-level recreation venue for live music, bowling, billiards and rock climbing, a 330-seat cinema, an art gallery, a boutique hotel, a variety of event and meeting spaces as well as multiple eateries – including the Daily Scoop serving famous Babcock Hall ice cream.

Additionally, experience the history of our beloved mascot, Bucky Badger, through a display of photos and artifacts that span 100+ years. The display will be available from 11am-4pm at the Campus and Community Information Desk.

Guided tours at 1pm and 3pm 
Meet at the Campus and Community Information Desk

Bascom Hill
Bascom Hill is home to the historic core of the UW-Madison campus. The first three buildings constructed on campus, North Hall (1851), South Hall (1855) and Bascom Hall (1859) sit at the crest of the hill. From these relatively modest structures the campus has expanded to over 400 buildings on 936 acres. Join student guides on a walking tour of Bascom Hill to learn more about the early history of the university.

Guided tours of Bascom Hill area at 12pm and 2pm
Meet at the Abe Lincoln Statue

Red Gym
Built in the distinctive Richardsonian Romanesque style, the Red Gym was formerly used for military training, sports events, and public gatherings. It was declared a National Landmark in 1994 for its role in the controversial 1904 Republican convention that launched “Fighting Bob” La Follette’s Progressive Party. Today the building hosts the Multicultural Student Center, International Student Services, and the Morgridge Center.

Open from 11am-4pm
Guided Tour at 12pm
Meet at the front entry


Washburn Observatory 
A recent historically sensitive exterior restoration has brought new life to this iconic campus landmark atop Observatory Hill. Enter through the south side door and climb the stairs to the dome to see the 15.6 inch refracting telescope, and enjoy views across Lake Mendota.

Self-guided tours and exploration from 11am-4pm

For a full list of buildings, tours and activities, please visit Doors Open Madison.