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ALERT: Madison’s Carriage Stoops Deserve City Protection!

June 29, 2009

Construction on Spaight Street is underway.  Will the historic carriage stoops be preserved?  I think they must be!  Will you help to insure that they are?  Call the Mayor’s office at 266-4611 and urge his attention to this matter.

When I first saw them two years ago I had no idea what they were.  Every now and then near the curb was a rectangular object.  A neighbor informed me they were carriage stoops, and were placed for the convenience of ladies as they exited the carriages back in the time the old Victorian homes were first constructed and lived in.  At once they became a point of historical pride for me about another aspect to the neighborhood that conjured up all the grandeur of days gone by.   Madison is blessed to have these physical reminders of who we are today, by better knowing where we came from.

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Sadly however, I was reminded on a recent walk that all do not know, or care about the past.  Portions of Spaight Street are under construction, and at least one of the old carriage stoops has been injured.  I at once contacted a local neighborhood historian and together we talked about the need to maintain the past.  Sadly the City of Madison does not seem to have a historical review process for engineering plans when it comes to street construction.  That seems short-sighted.  As a result objects such as this limestone carriage stoop pictured below on the 1100 block (which appears to be of the type that was used in the first state capital) was broken.  It would appear that some type of bobcat or such piece of heavy equipment has driven over it.

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While I have made contact with the City of Madison, and hope for some action to safegaurd these pieces of the past, I also encourage others to contact the Mayor’s office (266-4611) and request for a remedy to insure that these carriage stoops are handled with care and preserved.  After all, think of the way it once looked as the horse drawn carriage stopped, and the lady got out and prepared to enter the home.

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We can perserve our past.  Will you help?

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