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Arbor House: historic preservation meets sustainable design

One of the oldest inns in Madison is Arbor House, located on Monroe Street across from the Arboretum.  Built in 1853 as a stagecoach stop and tavern, this building has a long history.  It was originally called the Plough Inn, and in its early years, was known for its rowdy patrons who coined the phrase "Plough Inn and Stagger Out." 

When the current owners decided to add an annex to the original building, they looked at the original design for inspiration to design the addition.  They duplicated the 12-inch thick walls of the original inn for the Annex and used solid carpentry methods along with an abundance of wood and masonry materials in the design.  The exterior features are notably different from the original portion, but are deliberately designed to distinguish the past from the present in a relational manner.

Each of the eight guest suites also feature sustainable design.  Many are furnished with antiques that represent frontier life, but also relating it to modern living.  The linens are made of organic materials, and the guest baths feature the latest technology in energy saving devices and plumbing fixtures.  Each of the room's design themes relate to either the history of the inn, or an influential person in the development of the city of Madison.  This inn provides a charming look into Madison's history and is well worth spending a weekend at.


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