Last week city officials unveiled a plaque that had been awarded to the city when it was designated a national historic district in 2006.

The plaque, which sits atop a black, rectangular monument near the Broadway Fountain, was given to the city six years ago, but no action was taken until now to put it on display.

The city, county, state and Historic Madison Inc. collaborated on the multi-year project to receive the designation, said John Staicer, executive director of Historic Madison.

"We're one of the few communities in the country to have that distinction," Staicer said. The plaque was awarded to the city when the distinction was awarded, but the city needed a place to display it.

"It didn't make sense to affix it to a building because it was a community-wide award," Staicer said. "Since it was for a community, the idea of the Broadway Fountain seemed like a reasonable place to put it."

Affixing something like that to a building can be risky, Staicer said, because you never know who will own a building in 10 or 15 years. By putting the plaque in a public place, officials could be assured it will stay there for a long time.

Andrew Forrester, who is in charge of community relations for the city, said he has not seen an invoice for the cost of the monument the plaque was placed on, but he believed the city placed $2,000 of bridge mitigation money aside for the project.