Now & Then: Take a Tour and Stay Warm

You may think that winter is no time for a tour of historic buildings. But there is a way to enjoy old Madison while staying warm.

A surprising number of indoor spaces that are open to the public display historic photographs of the city. Some focus on individual buildings while others are panoramas. All of these stops are on or near the Capitol Square and, best of all, they are indoors.

The former Hotel Loraine Building has two commercial spaces with photos worth a look. Both levels of Barriques have historic photos include several of the capitol under construction. The Union Federal Savings & Loan Association entryway has three rarely seen photos.

Upon entering the BMO Harris Bank on Main Street you quickly encounter pictures of the building from 1895 to 1949. There are two more historic images inside the main banking room.

The Madison Municipal Building is a bonanza of historic photos. Th e lower level features two distinct sets of photographs by Capitol Neighborhoods resident Zane Williams. The hallway includes 10 sets of images from “Double Take,” the 2002 book in which Zane re-photo-Color photos of the Garver Feed Mill enliven the hallway in the lower level of the Madison Municipal Building. A walk to the lower level of the Madison Municipal Building offers more than photographs. This is a remnant of a mosaic wainscot from Cop’s Café, now occupied by Candinas Chocolatier. graphed Madison scenes shot by Angus McVicar from the 1920s through the 1950s. Near the entrance to the Planning Department’s offi ces are 13 large-format color photos of the Garver Feed Mill near Olbrich Park.

Take the elevator to the third floor of the Municipal Building to see some spectacular aerial photos. The views were first shot in 1908 by George Lawrence, well known at the time for panoramic photos taken with cameras lifted by kites. In 2008, Madison-based photographer Craig Wilson used cameras and kites to capture images from nearly identical angles.

We’ll take another tour when the winds are blowing next winter.

Posted in Newsletter.