Monona Terrace is located two blocks from the Wisconsin State Capitol building in downtown Madison.
Originally designed by Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright, it was first proposed by Wright in 1938. The county board rejected the plan by a single vote. Wright would continue to seek support for the plan (and alter its design) until his death in 1959.
For the next three decades, various proposals for a convention center on the Monona Terrace land would be considered and rejected. Several times, it appeared that supporters of the project would be able to secure the public financing to complete the project, but various forces (such as the start of World War II) inevitably sidelined the plan. In 1990, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin resurrected Wright’s proposal, which won narrow approval in a public referendum in 1992. Construction began two years later.
In 1997, nearly sixty years after Wright’s original inception, Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center opened its doors.