Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Madison’s Erdman building will not get landmark status

By: Adam Wise//September 19, 2011//

Madison’s Erdman building will not get landmark status

By: Adam Wise//September 19, 2011//

Listen to this article

By Adam Wise

Holding a book with a photograph of the Erdman building from the 1950s, Amy Kinast stands in front of the original office space for building pioneer Marshall Erdman in Madison recently. On Monday, Madison's Landmarks Commission voted against giving the building landmark status. (Staff photos by Kevin Harnack)

Famed builder Marshall Erdman’s original Madison office will not receive historic designation by the city’s Landmarks Commission.

Members voted unanimously Monday night against nominating the building — located at 5117 University Ave. — for landmark status following its public hearing. Madison resident Amy Kinast sought landmark status for the 1949-constructed building, in part, to keep it from being torn down in a future redevelopment plan.

The building is at the site of a proposed 60,000-square-foot University of Wisconsin digestive health clinic from developer Krupp General Contractors LLC, Madison. The clinic is part of a 14-acre mixed-used development that includes plans for a 130-room hotel, 65 apartments and other medical offices.

While Kinast received support for several residents who live near the building, the comments that stood out most to commission members were those closely connected to Erdman, who died in 1995.

“(The building) was simply a place to work; it has no architectural significance whatsoever,” said Jon Snowden, vice president of Waunakee-based Erdman Holdings Inc. “Marshall did not build buildings for himself with any long-term commitment; they simply served a purpose at that time.”

Commission members thanked Kinast for the work she did in bringing the builder’s office to their attention, but agreed with the Erdman family and friends who opposed the landmark nomination.

“This is not a building that exemplifies his achievements,” said commission member Robin Taylor. “It’s pieced together in different divisions and wasn’t original.”

Kinast said the people who thought her objective for seeking landmark nomination was simply to block the development had it wrong.

“My true motive is to give it a fair hearing,” she said. “I saw a void and filled it.”

The commission’s decision clears another hurdle for Krupp, which is on schedule to seek Common Council approval for its project Oct. 4. Krupp President Paul Lenhart has said the company wants to put shovels in the ground by November.


Is the labor shortage getting:

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Today’s News

See All Today's News

Project Profiles

See All Project Profiles