Preservation

A dozen years after being gutted by arson, the 1904 Elks building in downtown Madison, Indiana, is being restored.

BPOE

Here’s what it looked like in 2008, for comparison.

Burned BPOE

I first remarked on this building last November when Indiana Landmarks became involved; read about it here.

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Madison Elks Lodge is being restored

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Preservation, Road Trips

Strolling through Madison

Madison, Indiana, is a preservationist’s dream town. A whopping 133 blocks of its downtown is a Historic District and a National Historic Landmark.

On Main St.

Main Street

Founded in 1810, the town competed with Louisville and Cincinnati as Ohio River port cities. It grew rapidly into the railroad age of the mid-1800s, but railroads leading to those other two cities performed better than the one leading to Madison. Indeed, Madison’s railroad failed in 1862. Even though its line ended up becoming a part of the vast Pennsylvania Railroad system, the die was cast. After the Civil War, Madison’s growth stalled.

Bank

Broadway Hotel

Madison’s antebellum loss is our modern gain as it largely froze the town in time. You’ll find all the major architectural styles from the nineteenth, and even some of the twentieth, centuries in downtown Madison.

Ohio Theater

Hinkle Hamburgers

Residences surround the downtown commercial area, and most of the homes are simply stunning.

House in Madison

Madison street

Dr. Hutchings

The river is just a few minutes’ walk from anywhere in Madison’s historic district. Goods are not received at any port here anymore — you’re far more likely to see powerboats racing here. It’s been happening in Madison for at least 100 years. An annual powerboat race, now known as the Madison Regatta, has been held annually since 1929 over the Independence Day weekend.

Bench on the Ohio

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Preservation, Road Trips

The new old Broadway Fountain

At Broadway Fountain

This fountain might look old, but it dates only to 1981. That’s not an entirely fair or accurate representation of this fountain and its story, however. Its story goes back more than a century before that.

At Broadway Fountain

A cast-iron fountain that looked just like this was on display at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Considerable wrangling and dogged persistence (story here) saw it moved to Madison, Indiana, in 1884.

At Broadway Fountain

But by World War II, the fountain had deteriorated badly and had to be turned off. It sat in that condition until 1950, when a local real-estate agent raised the funds for its restoration.

At Broadway Fountain

By the 1970s the fountain had again deteriorated. In 1976, Madison officials sought another restoration. This time, they went even farther: they had the entire fountain remade in bronze, a hardier metal than iron. It took several years for a sculptor to make molds of every part of the fountain and put the new pieces together on the site. Broadway Fountain reopened in 1981.

Canon PowerShot S95

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Some of the blogs I follow post photos of interesting doors on Thursday. This apparently started with a blog called Norm 2.0, which has featured interesting door photos for years. I’ve always wanted to play, but I seldom get out around interesting doors.

But recently I visited Madison, Indiana, which is rich in great entryways. Herewith, a series of Madison doors on this Thursday.

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Madison door

Canon PowerShot S95

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Photography, Preservation, Road Trips

Thursday doors: Madison, Indiana

A bunch of doors from Madison, Indiana, on this Thursday.

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1859 General Dean Suspension Bridge

1859 General Dean Suspension Bridge
Kodak EasyShare Z730
2009

You don’t expect to come upon a suspension bridge over a river in middle America. But nevertheless, here this one is.

It’s in Carlyle, Illinois, about 50 miles east of St. Louis. It’s a block north of US 50 on Carlyle’s east side. It carried vehicular traffic through sometime during the 1930s. I wouldn’t be surprised if this bridge was on US 50’s original alignment here.

Today, it’s a pedestrian bridge.

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Photography, Preservation, Road Trips

single frame: 1859 General Dean Suspension Bridge

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Exploring the Boone County Courthouse

Exploring the Boone County Courthouse
Nikon N90s, 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor
Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 (at EI 200)

Early Ford Explorers are mighty rare now thanks to Cash for Clunkers almost a decade ago. And this is a very early one, wearing its first “face” (headlights and grille). It’s from the early 1990s. It’s hard to believe that’s 25 or more years ago now.

Margaret and I had just taken a photo walk in Lebanon, the seat of justice in Boone County, Indiana, and had stopped on the square for a pint of stout at the local brewery. We sat in the window and had a good view of the courthouse.

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Film Photography, Preservation

single frame: Exploring the Boone County Courthouse

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