The University of Wisconsin's main campus is located in the city. The main downtown thoroughfare is State Street, which links the University campus with the State Capitol square, and is lined with restaurants and shops. Only pedestrians, buses, and bikes are allowed on State Street. The Capitol Square is situated between lakes Mendota and Monona.
Notable buildings include the Wisconsin state capitol, and the Monona Terrace meeting and convention center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright, who spent a brief time as a student at the University, also designed other buildings in Madison, such as the Unitarian meeting house. In the summer time, on Saturday mornings, the Dane County Farmers' Market is on the Capitol Square.
Madison has three identities—state capital, college town, and working-class city—which blend and synergize. Madison will always be associated with the name of "Fighting Bob" LaFollette and the Progressive movement. La Follette's magazine, The Progressive, founded in 1909, is still published in Madison today.
In Madison during the sixties, thousands of students and other citizens took part in antiwar marches and demonstrations. The counterculture was centered in the neighborhood of Mifflin and Bassett streets, referred to as Mifflin-Bassett or Miffland, where students and counterculture youth lived in the many three-story apartments, painted murals, opened vegetarian restaurants and co-operative grocery stores, and used illegal substances. The neighborhood often came into conflict with authorities, particularly then-Mayor Bill Dyke (who was later to run for vice-president with segregationist Lester Maddox). Tom Bates writes in Rads that Dyke's attempt to suppress the annual Mifflin Street block party "would take three days, require hundreds of officers on overtime pay, and engulf the student community from the Southeast Dorms to fraternity row. [Tear] gas hung like heavy fog across the isthmus." In the fracas, student activist Paul Soglin, then an alderman, was arrested and taken to jail. Later, Soglin was to become mayor of Madison, serving from 1973 to 1979 and from 1989 to the present day.
In 1996 Money magazine identified Madison as the best place to live in the United States.