One of the top three most prestigious neighborhoods in Madison isn’t actually a neighborhood at all, but the independent Village of Shorewood Hills. The village sits on the south shore of Lake Mendota and occupies some of the most sought after real estate in the Madison area.
The village is bordered on the east by the University of Madison, on the North by Lake Mendota, on the south by University Ave, and on the west by Blackhawk Country Club. The village can be almost neatly divided into an east and west half, the east half (affectionately referred to as the “slums of Shorewood Hills”) are lade out mostly in a grid fashion with the streets named after prominent universities. The streets in the western half of the village follow the contours of a not-insignificant hill and the lake shore – the houses clinging to the sides of each.
Real Estate Home prices vary wildly in Shorewood Hills. While it is possible to get a home in “the slums” for $350,000, a figure closer to $500,000 is more typical, and homes on the hill or the lake often command prices well over $1,000,000.
Architecturally speaking, the village has a LOT to offer, there are Frank Lloyd Wright homes, as well as homes built by other prominent architects, and because the village was not platted and planned as a subdivision the way most other Madison neighborhoods were, the building of homes and filling in of lots has taken a much greater length of time than in other parts of the city. Because of this, the architectural styles vary significantly from Wright-esque prairie style, to Tudor, to ultra modern and everything in between, depending on what style was in vogue at the time of construction.
Perhaps the most significant building from an architectural standpoint is the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Unitarian Meeting house which lies within the borders of Shorewood Hills. Still operated as a Unitarian worship space, the building is quintessentially Wright / prairie style. The original structure has been expanded on multiple occasions, each time with care to make the expansions match the original vision.
Like any municipality, Shorewood Hills operates it’s own city hall, police force, fire station and public school. The village also provides a pool for village residents, and residents have some usage rights at the country-club.
The reputation of the village is that of success, and progressive thinking. Many UW professors call the village home, and while the village is no doubt one of the most well heeled in the state, it distinguishes itself from near-by Maple Bluff as the progressive well heeled enclave.
Cherished Madison businesses like Vom Fass and the Century House call the area fronting on University home.