Looking for a wishing well

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
Sleepy
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Looking for a wishing well

Postby Sleepy » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:58 pm

Yesterday I explained the concept of a wishing well to my five-year-old niece. She found it fascinating and wants to see one. Please tell me the location of any on the west or near-west side, particularly if the coins are visible.

Cartoon:
http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoon ... n1176l.jpg

surroundedbyreality
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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby surroundedbyreality » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:34 pm

There is a small wishing well in the Main library downtown that I usually see coins in when I pass it. It’s on the second floor right by the stairs along with a small old statue “Wildflower” that has a lot of history with Madison Libraries. Maybe this doesn't actually qualify as a wishing "well", but people throw coins into it.

green union terrace chair
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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:49 pm

Sleepy wrote:Yesterday I explained the concept of a wishing well to my five-year-old niece. She found it fascinating and wants to see one. Please tell me the location of any on the west or near-west side, particularly if the coins are visible.

Cartoon:
http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoon ... n1176l.jpg


If you have access to a time machine, go visit West Towne Mall circa 1985.

WestSideYuppie
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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:14 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:
Sleepy wrote:Yesterday I explained the concept of a wishing well to my five-year-old niece. She found it fascinating and wants to see one. Please tell me the location of any on the west or near-west side, particularly if the coins are visible.

Cartoon:
http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoon ... n1176l.jpg


If you have access to a time machine, go visit West Towne Mall circa 1985.


Look how much luck it brought to West Towne. :roll:

:mrgreen:

Thusnelda
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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby Thusnelda » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:43 am

I have this recurring Terence Trent D'Arby earworm now. Thanks.

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby kissyfish » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:40 am

green union terrace chair wrote:
Sleepy wrote:Yesterday I explained the concept of a wishing well to my five-year-old niece. She found it fascinating and wants to see one. Please tell me the location of any on the west or near-west side, particularly if the coins are visible.

Cartoon:
http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoon ... n1176l.jpg


If you have access to a time machine, go visit West Towne Mall circa 1985.


And while you are back in 1985, say hi to my dad, he will likely be in the sunken seating area on the vinyl couches, smoking a cigarette.

I will be in alladin's castle playing zaxxon

green union terrace chair
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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:40 am

kissyfish wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:
Sleepy wrote:Yesterday I explained the concept of a wishing well to my five-year-old niece. She found it fascinating and wants to see one. Please tell me the location of any on the west or near-west side, particularly if the coins are visible.

Cartoon:
http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoon ... n1176l.jpg


If you have access to a time machine, go visit West Towne Mall circa 1985.


And while you are back in 1985, say hi to my dad, he will likely be in the sunken seating area on the vinyl couches, smoking a cigarette.

I will be in alladin's castle playing zaxxon


I'll meet you at the Hot Sam. Or the McDonald's at the Sears end. Not the food court, because there weren't no dang food court yet.

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby supaunknown » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:36 pm

I'm skipping my afternoon classes and I'll meet you at Aladdin's. Dangit! I can't remember the exact sequence for that one section of Dragon's Lair ... was it up-down-left-left, or up-down-left-right? Aw heck, maybe some Ponderosa will jog my memory ...

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby frozenCow » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:51 pm

kissyfish wrote:And while you are back in 1985, say hi to my dad, he will likely be in the sunken seating area on the vinyl couches, smoking a cigarette.

I will be in alladin's castle playing zaxxon

Go back to 1982, and you'll find me smoking a cigarette and playing zaxxon. But I'll be doing it downtown at the Kollege Klub.

I remember those sunken seating areas. Like the fountains and the large planters, they looked so modern in the early 70s when the place was built.
Image
http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=3165

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby frozenCow » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:54 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:I'll meet you at the Hot Sam. Or the McDonald's at the Sears end. Not the food court, because there weren't no dang food court yet.

Oh man, Hot Sam. That takes me back.
Damn right there was no food court! Just Hot Sam, Orange Julius, York Steak House (East Towne had one - I think West Towne did too).

Remember the West Towne theaters that were behind the mall, kind of where Toys R Us is located today? When Animal House came out in 1978, that's where I saw it.

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby frozenCow » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:12 pm

supaunknown wrote:I'm skipping my afternoon classes and I'll meet you at Aladdin's. Dangit! I can't remember the exact sequence for that one section of Dragon's Lair ... was it up-down-left-left, or up-down-left-right? Aw heck, maybe some Ponderosa will jog my memory ...

Back in the 80s I had a friend who used to play Dragon's Lair and many other video games to set high score records. He would play them non-stop on one quarter for up to 3 days, just to set the records. He would earn so many extra points that he could afford to take 15 minute breaks to nap or go to the restroom. He used to "train" for these events, calling himself a "video athlete". He didn't hang out at West Towne, though. His usual arcade hangout was actually Space Port on State St.

Today this individual is quite well known in the local music biz. I don't think he has time to play arcade games anymore.

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby Average Joe » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:14 pm

frozenCow wrote:
Image


I love that the stand-alone Sears auto center was there from the beginning. Best place for tires and batteries.

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby green union terrace chair » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:37 pm


Wow, that picture is nuts. Nothing but farmland to the south. I wonder if people thought developers were crazy for building the beltline way out into the middle of (what was) nowhere.

Also note the as-yet-unbuilt Odana Road. As I understand it, it was never meant to be more than a quiet frontage road for the beltline.

frozenCow wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:I'll meet you at the Hot Sam. Or the McDonald's at the Sears end. Not the food court, because there weren't no dang food court yet.

Oh man, Hot Sam. That takes me back.
Damn right there was no food court! Just Hot Sam, Orange Julius, York Steak House (East Towne had one - I think West Towne did too).

Remember the West Towne theaters that were behind the mall, kind of where Toys R Us is located today? When Animal House came out in 1978, that's where I saw it.


I don't *think* there was an Orange Julius at West Towne, at least not in the 80s, was there? And yeah, the theatre was right on the site where Toys R Us is now. I saw Ghostbusters and Rocky IV there.

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby thebookpolice » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:37 pm

Does anybody else have to deal with about 20 minutes of Terence Trent D'Arby in their heads every time this thread pops to the top of the list?

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Re: Looking for a wishing well

Postby frozenCow » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:18 am

green union terrace chair wrote:Wow, that picture is nuts. Nothing but farmland to the south. I wonder if people thought developers were crazy for building the beltline way out into the middle of (what was) nowhere.

Also note the as-yet-unbuilt Odana Road. As I understand it, it was never meant to be more than a quiet frontage road for the beltline.


When they built West Towne in 1970, people really did think it was out there.

When I was a young child in the 1960s, Whitney Way was the western edge of town. There was a barn and farm buildings across the street from Westgate, where Copps is located now. The northern section of Whitney Way still followed the path of old Gilbert Rd and it ended at Mineral Point Rd. The intersection of Whitney Way and Mineral Point Rd was a rural setting where two country roads met. In the early 70s Whitney Way was moved to the east (that bend north of Tokay Blvd) and rebuilt as the swooping 3 lane highway it is today. You can still see the tree line of the old road on the west side of Whitney Way, just south of Mineral Point Rd. A little further west down Mineral Point Rd was CUNA (it was half the size it is today), and it seemed so rural in the 60s.

As for building the beltline way out in the middle of nowhere:
Prior to 1970 the beltline west of Whitney Way was thought of as just being Hwy 12 to Middleton, rather than an extension of the beltline. The photo shows a recently widened Gammon Rd, and the exit off the beltline looks like quite a fancy exit to nowhere. But then, the Whitney Way exit looked just as rural a decade earlier.

Development of Odana Rd west of Whitney Way started from both Whitney Way and Gammon Rd and worked its way in. The Whitney Way side was first. In 1969 Odana Rd was extended west of Whitney Way, just short of where Tokay Blvd ends on Odana Rd today. In the early 70s (1973,74) I remember going to the Wheel Thing, a roller skating rink that was located in a building on Odana Rd currently occupied by an Indian restaurant (just east of the current location of Cecil’s Shoe Repair). You had to get there from Gammon Rd, because Odana Rd didn’t go all the way through. In 1973 Odana Rd (heading east from Gammon Rd), ended just east of the Wheel Thing.

You are correct that not much thought went into Odana Rd west of Whitney Way, other than it being some kind of frontage road. But at least it was “planned” that way, as opposed to the frontage roads near Todd Dr that kind of developed by necessity when the beltline became too busy to exit on and off of directly. Prior to about 1970, many of the roads, homes, and businesses located on the beltline between Fish Hatchery Rd and Seminole Hwy had direct access to the beltline. Even Seminole Hwy itself was a direct access (controlled by just a stop sign) to the beltline. In about 1970-71 that section of the beltline was rebuilt, making it lower than Seminole Hwy. That project also created the current series of frontage roads that replaced direct access to the beltline from Arbor Hills, St Joseph’s Church, a grade school that was near where Rocky’s is today, and all the businesses in between.

Closer to West Towne, early frontage roads were developed south of the beltline and east of Gammon Rd, such as Seybold Rd (so named because it allowed access to Seybold Flooring) and Watts Rd (so named because it allowed access to Watts Landscaping). Neither business exists today, but development just kind of sprawled on those roads from there.

green union terrace chair wrote:I don't *think* there was an Orange Julius at West Towne, at least not in the 80s, was there? And yeah, the theatre was right on the site where Toys R Us is now. I saw Ghostbusters and Rocky IV there.

East Towne and West Towne had almost the same restaurants when they began back in the 70s. I know East Towne had an Orange Julius. I assume West Towne did too, but I'm not 100% certain. I'm afraid to ask, but have you ever known anybody who has actually eaten one of those hot dogs that were always spinning around on rollers at Orange Julius?


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