5 Favorite Landmarks in Sun Prairie

Visiting Sun Prairie, WI? This city of just over 30,000 residents boasts plenty of attractions for history buffs and those with children. As a suburb of Madison, you’re also not too far from more big-city amenities. Take a look at some of the favorite landmarks locals recommend.

Downtown Sun Prairie

Sun Prairie’s historic downtown features unique period architecture and a plethora of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Enjoy a drink at one of the taverns, take in an art exhibit at the museum, or shop at one of the many charming boutiques. You can also find diverse dining options, including Greek, Chinese, and Mexican.

Sun Prairie Historical Library & Museum

This building was constructed in 1924 and designed by Alvin E. Small, a Sun Prairie local. In the past the building was used for many purposes: City Library, Village Council Chambers, City Offices, and even a Red Cross Center during WWII. The museum is located downtown and open to the public for tours and exhibits. Private tours are also available by appointment. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.

Historic Crosse House

A National Historic Landmark, the Crosse House was built in 1864 and located in Downtown Sun Prairie. It was the former home of Dr. Charles G. Crosse, an influential resident who served as city doctor, newspaper publisher, and eventually State Legislator. He also helped to build the city’s first high school. Today, Dr. Crosse’s house hosts community events and special gatherings. It is maintained by Sun Prairie Historic Restorations, Inc.

Chase Grain Elevator

This is the last remaining tile elevator in Wisconsin. The Chase Grain Elevator was built in 1922 and is recognized for its experimental construction, when wooden elevators were more common. Tile elevators were eventually replaced by concrete elevators around 1925. The Chase Grain Elevator is located on 123 Railroad Street in Sun Prairie and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

Sun Prairie Canning Company

This was one of Sun Prairie’s main economic boosters from the early to mid-20th century. Established in 1900, the factory helped local farmers sell their crops. It changed ownership several times over a span of a century, with former owners including the Fuhremann Canning Company, Oconomowoc Canning Company, and Chiquita. It was added to the National Register of Historic places in 2004. The building where the factory once operated now houses the popular Wisconsin burger joint, Nitty Gritty.

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