"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN
Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
MADISON STREET STEPS
The ornate steps constructed at a cost of $2,100, a 100 percent cost overrun, were as much architecture as sidewalk. The eight flights of steps included a spiral staircase with lights on the landings.
By 1945 the steps were beginning to show signs of neglect. Deterioration was so advanced by 1956 that the Park Board ordered them closed. Some areas of the steps were demolished, while others were allowed to collapse under their own weight.
In 1977, believing that a wealthy person was interested in funding a civic project, the city planner David Dahlquist recreated the design of the steps with a plan that won a national award. Unfortunately, the wealthy donor never materialized to pay the estimated cost of $244,000.
In March 1982, the city announced plans to remove the steps. Actual removal did not occur until October 1989, when wooden steps were installed to reach a residence on the side of the bluff.