Greetings and salutations,
Hope all is well with everyone. This week our brief word and photo travel adventure will take us down the street between the Wisconsin State Capitol and the University of Wisconsin. This is State Street, about six block long promenade. Closeby for me to visit but a long way for many of my readers.
Many cities in the United States particularly those that serve as state capitols have a State Street. It is very similar to many towns in the UK where the man street or in our case “State” street is called “High Street.”
Until the mid 1970’s, State Street was a four lane road connecting the Capitol and the University. In late 1974, it was converted into a winding two lane limited access road with wide sidewalks to encourage pedestrian traffic. And as most things that happen in Madison, not without controversy! This change led to increased local and tourist traffic attracted by the homey appeal of small shops, restaurants of all varieties, bars and entertainment establishments. In addition, State Street caters to the University student crowd with housing choices nearby, eclectic and unique clothing stores as well as bookstores, lots of coffeeshops and bars! On a busy day, visitors can check out the street musicians, jugglers, and performers trying to make a buck or two. On the other hand, State Street also attracts panhandlers, vagrants and the homeless as there are a few shelters and the county jail nearby.
State Street is so much part of the excitement and vibe of the city of Madison, we always take our visitors down there especially those from small towns to check out the Street. For some it’s a whole new world, for us it’s the same quirky, fun town.
So let’s start our photo tour with two photos taken from the State Capitol as we look down State Street towards the University.
Now for more down to earth views. The top photo was taken during the annual cars on state event with displays of rare, unique antique cars. The second photo is a close up of one of the cars.
Speaking of events, State Street hosts many each year such as the Mad City Marathon, Ride the Drive, Maxwell Street Days, and Freakiest at Halloween. Here’s a photo from one of the marathons. The Orpheum Theater and it’s sign is an iconic part of State Street. More recently the sign has been restored, standing out even more on the cityscape.
There are a number of museums located on or near State Street including the iconic Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA). It appears in many photos because of it’s unique design.
The following are some street views of State.
The people that either congregate or pass through State Street have their own unique interest. If one has time, the people watching can’t be beat. Here are few shots of some of those characters.
As mentioned earlier, busking and street performing is readily apparent. Here are photos of the same performer one taken in the winter and the other in the summer!
And a few signs from the Street. I especially like the ear wax sign combined with the sign on the establishment next door!
The following are some miscellaneous photos taken on or near State Street.
The title of this photo is “Possessions.” For some folks, this is all they have and carry it with them wherever they go. Unfortunately, lots of stuff gets stolen if there is anything of value. There is a plan to create a day room with lockers so homeless folks can secure their stuff.
Lots of photos this week. I hope they helped to tell the story of Mad towns most iconic street.
Until next week,