Web Site Features Madison as it Was 30 Years Ago
Project for Public Spaces gives a glimpse of what downtown Madison was like in 1980.
Mayor Mary-Anna Holden had been hoping to see it for a while, and when she happened upon it the other day, she was thrilled.
"I'm glad they found it," she said. "I've been asking for years, could could they at least come up with the time lapsed photography and see what is similar. Then it was the lead story in this piece. It's great."
The piece Holden is talking about is on the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) Web site, and is entitled "Placemaking on America's Historic Main Streets." The story, which is on historic main streets PPS has worked with over the years, begins by talking about the role of main streets in towns and then sets its sights on Madison.
Besides a description of Main Street in the Rose City, the article features a fascinating time-lapse video PPS did for the borough in in 1980 while working with it on a downtown revitalization plan.
Holden said the borough began working with PPS during the term of late former Mayor Betty Baumgartner. Baumgartner is cited as being the catalyst for starting the Downtown Development Commission, which has worked closely with PPS on different projects since then.
PPS has most recently worked with the borough on looking into how to revitalize Lincoln Place. The project that goes before the Borough Council tonight for approval was developed by PPS with the help of input from the community.
"They talked to about 60 people in different stakeholder groups," Holden said. "People on council, the fire department, DDC, senior citizens, young children... and then they pool all of the information."
Holden said that one of the major problems residents and PPS tried to address in the plan had to do with pedestrian safety, as time-lapse photography showed cars doing U-turns in the middle the road and double parking.
"One of the biggest problems is just mailing a letter," Holden said, as the post office is located on Lincoln Place.
A photo simulation of the proposed improvements is on the story by PPS. Main Street Executive Director Jim Burnett has also given presentations to the borough on the project.
Holden plans on attending the National Trust for Historic Preservation's yearly conference in Austin, Texas, in October, where PPS will be one of the main speakers. PPS's partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation is what prompted the group to put together the story on historic main streets, in which Madison is featured.
To find out what Madison's downtown looked like in 1980, or remind yourself, check out the YouTube video attached to this article.