The Park Motor Inn at 26 Carroll Street in Capitol Square in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The new motel was built on the site of the former Park Hotel and opened for business on April 30, 1963.
The motel was part of the urban renewal of Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin. An article that appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 6, 1963:
An Exciting Downtown Madison Madison’s downtown stands on the threshold of an exciting future. But it has to step over that threshold. On the other side of the threshold is the promise that Madison downtown can become a true regional shopping center not the metropolitan shopping area that it has been for years. It has the potential of drawing people in to shop from far greater areas than ever before, in the same manner that Milwaukee drew carloads of Madison’s women to that city for a day of shopping in exciting stores, a good dinner in a swanky restaurant, and a show. As a matter of fact, this tide is already turning. People who used to be considered wholly in the Milwaukee sphere are shifting to Madison, pulled here by the tug of advertising and good roads. Powerful forces are acting to make Madison’s downtown area that regional shopping center. One Is that of modern roads. The Interstate-highways are making it possible to turn people from other shopping areas to Madison. They are bringing people from farther away.
The Monona Bay causeway keys into this road system, as the city’s own expressway from the outside of town beltlines and I-roads to the heart of the city. The effort so far, and it has been a big and a concerned effort, has been mainly on the part of the city and county. The city and county have put in the big parking lots and ramps, one block off the Capitol Square at each of its four corners which bailed downtown merchants and office building owners out of a tight parking problem in recent years. The city is putting in the causeway which will make downtown if it wants to do its part in the effort the regional shopping center that can make it a mecca for shoppers in ever increasing numbers. To their credit, there are people downtown who are beginning to make an effort to work out a better future.
They did, it is true, give the cold shoulder to Design for Tomorrow, the plush long-range scheme for bettering downtown. They did not come up with planning when the years drifted by that saw the powerful shopping center complexes grow up in the suburbs. But now they are looking at changing zoning to increase downtown population densities. They are looking at ramping Block 110, near the Belmont hotel. Several have risked dollars, big dollar amounts, in such buildings as the new Anchor Savings and Loan Assn. and the Park Motor Inn, along with remodeling. This is progress. But it is piecemeal attack. What downtown needs, now that the city has gone about as far as it can go, is for private interests to plan a downtown that will be so exciting that people can‘t stay away.
The Park Motor Inn featured a rooftop seating area called Top O’ The Park Terrace. Cocktails and food were served eight stories high with a view of the state capitol.
An article in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 29, 1962:
View’s Well Worth the Top of the Park
“Ever wonder what the view was going to be like from the “Top of the Park” when the Park Motor Inn is finished on the Capitol Square?
Well, this photo shows you the spectacular Madison sky line as it will look to a person sitting in the top floor restaurant and bar in not too many more weeks. And the “celebrant,” the first to sit at a table in the area of the new restaurant and bar, is Warren Crandall, 4330 DeVolis pkwy. He’s a member of the Madison. Theater Guild, and consented to put on full dress for the photo.
From the top of the big hotel, there’s a view of both Madison lakes, at either side, and the Capitol to the front. And in between, are the roof tops of many a Madison building generally seen only at the street level.
By the end of last week, the carpenters on the Park Motor Inn had formed the floor which will extend about half way to the fore on the eighth floor.
The section under roof will contain the restaurant and bar, and will be almost completely enclosed by glass so that the view will be uninterrupted on all sides.
Glass doors will open to the front part of the roof, where Crandall sits, which will be an open air patio. This portion of the roof will have a railing high enough for a feeling of security, yet low enough to give a continued view of the city. And, off to the left, the visitor to the Top of the Park can look down to the open patio on the second floor, with its swimming pool near to the big banquet hall and convention center. “
A postcard view showing the Top o’ The Park Terrace, published around 1963, shows the view of the state capitol.
The building contained a pharmacy, barber shop and travel agency.
The Park Motor Inn survived until 1979, at which part is was renamed Inn on the Park