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Bus Depot on W.Wash?

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Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby Bwis53 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:29 pm

http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/artic ... icle=40747

It makes me wonder why did the city and bus companies let the old depot (or property) at W.Wash.& Bedford go? Did they not foresee problems?


I have fond memories of the old Greyhound depot, in the Hovde building, back in the 60's and 70's. I loved the lunch counter at the W. Wash. level. And the waiting area upstairs for buses was civilized.
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Re: Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby rabble » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:35 pm

Bwis53 wrote:http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=40747

It makes me wonder why did the city and bus companies let the old depot (or property) at W.Wash.& Bedford go? Did they not foresee problems?

If I remember right, the owner wasn't the city or the bus companies. The city and the bus owners should have hammered out a way to buy that chunk but I think everybody thought they'd find a place closer to campus and downtown.

Then I guess they decided to go with train stations which would have been good bus depots too. That didn't work out.
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Re: Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby Bwis53 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:31 pm

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ ... fee03.html

I hope this thing gets built. Haven't been by there in a while. I wonder if getting out of a drive onto Bedford will work traffic wise.

I remember when Greyhound was on East Main in the late 70's.

Does anyone know what caused all those amenities to leave the old Hovde building location?
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Re: Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby snoqueen » Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:25 pm

I remember the Greyhound buses arriving in the basement of the Hovde building way way back. It was right across from the Lorraine Hotel (now condos) and you can only imagine the convenience and elegance of arriving downtown at night and stepping right across the street to a luxurious hotel only a block from the Capitol.

I am not sure it was the Hovde building then -- I thought Hovde bought it and kicked the bus companies out, and that was when they went to the 900 block of E. Main. On the Fairchild side of the Hovde building you can still see where the buses entered, though it goes to the parking level today.

[img]
http://hovdeproperties.com/images/gallery/hovde1.jpg[/img]

You might have to click that for yourself -- it's not letting me do inline images again tonight.

The Hovde building, Madison's first steel building, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ta ... in_Madison) is a substantial, reasonably intact piece of architecture with a limestone exterior, art deco (or art moderne) carved panels, and a nifty sort of pediment at the top. The carving is similar to what the old Manchester's building had at the corner of Mifflin and Wisconsin Ave., to the Wilson St. state office building, and to what the present Children's Museum had or has -- all buildings from the same era.

For some reason I thought the Hovde originally housed the phone company, back when phone companies had rows and rows of operators. Does that square with what you recall, or was the phone company down the street?

(I remember a friend who worked at the phone company back then (1971?) as an information operator (you just dialed O, and there she was). She complained that the operators, all women, were required to wear skirts and nylon stockings on the job even though nobody ever saw them. What an era.)

Here's another reference:

http://www.emporis.com/building/hovdebu ... son-wi-usa

One of the finest Art Deco buildings in Madison, the Wisconsin Power and Light Building (now Hovde Building) features terra cotta spandrel panels carved with power turbines.


The architects were Law, Law, and Potter, and the building was completed in 1928, a golden era for urban architecture in the midwest.

Sorry, folks, but it's Saturday night....

Back on topic:
We sure could use a "real" bus depot downtown, and I hope they build something substantial that will serve students and others for a long time. If they ever get downtown rail working again, having buses come and go right near the rail right-of-way by the Kohl Center is a natural.
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Re: Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby gargantua » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:08 pm

The phone company was on the first block of W. Main, next to the old Park Motor Inn, now the "Inn at the Park" or whatever. I'd walk by it to and from the bus stop while going to St. Ray's. They had cool phone booths inside, on the first floor.

Phone booths. What a concept. Damn I'm old.
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Re: Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby gargantua » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:12 pm

Oh wait...speaking of old. Later on the phone company was about a third of a block down the street on W. Wash. I had to personally go down there and get my beige, touch-tone phone.

The thing I liked about the bus station was an old pinball machine that you could get away with tilting. We'd play that thing for an hour after school for only one thin dime!
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Re: Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby green union terrace chair » Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:33 pm

gargantua wrote:The phone company was on the first block of W. Main, next to the old Park Motor Inn, now the "Inn at the Park" or whatever. I'd walk by it to and from the bus stop while going to St. Ray's. They had cool phone booths inside, on the first floor.

Phone booths. What a concept. Damn I'm old.

Is there still switching equipment in there? Sometimes at night, if you're over in the "St. Raphael's Park" (for lack of a better name), if you look up a few floors on the Fairchild side you can see what look like racks and racks of old-looking equipment / electronics.

It wouldn't surprise me. That stuff is horrendously expensive and complicated to move. Which is why it's quite likely that the old Ameritech / Wisconsin Bell / AT&T building on W. Wash will sit vacant for decades apart from the couple floors of switching equipment and back-up generators in the basement.
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Re: Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby Bwis53 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:29 pm

I searched google for info on exactly when and how Greyhound left the Hovde building but couldn't find it.

I talked to two retired phone co. employees tonight. The phone co. was not in the Hovde building but at the other locations previously mentioned.

Anyhoo I hope for our fair city that the Bedford location works out.
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Re: Bus Depot on W.Wash?

Postby Bwis53 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:43 pm

The mess in front of the Chazen during the noon hour really made the case for a dedicated bus depot. Several Van Galder and Badger buses lined up from the Park St. end past the Lake St. end. One was even waiting in front of Chadbourne Hall on Park St. And cars stopped in back of the buses to drop off travelers. That made it difficult for Madison Metro buses at their regular stops. And it seemed to worsen heavy traffic on University. I can't imagine what that mess would have looked like in front of Memorial Union on Langdon.
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