Journalist Jay Rath, a keen observer of Madison's downtown, has a question about the restored log cabin at North Hamilton and East Dayton, behind the new Children's Museum: "Under what zoning does that fall? Residential? Light industrial? Historic? Log?"
Matt Tucker, Madison's zoning administrator, says the museum grounds are zoned C4 commercial, and the 1840s cabin was approved as a conditional use "based on it being a display." The Urban Design Commission also signed off on the deal.
So can an ordinary homeowner erect one of these things in his or her yard?
"You can, yeah," answers Tucker. A homeowner could build a log cabin shed or garage, so long as the requisite permits were obtained and building codes followed. The city's main concern: "We like to make sure they're safe."
Laughs Rath, "I'm going to get out my Cub Scout hatchet and erect my own home - oops, I mean 'display.'"