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 01/08/2014 09:13 AM

JIM'S QUIXOTIC SIDEWALK PROJECT:

Because everybody needs a strange and quirky hobby, Loraine and I have been walking the entire city of Marquette, taking pictures of sidewalks.

Yes, sidewalks.

Now, as with most of our little "projects", this one just kind of evolved from something we've been noticing the past year or so.  You see, most of Marquette's original sidewalks from 1915 are slowly being replaced.  After all, some of them are falling apart thanks to 90+ years of abuse by Mother Nature and by tens of thousands of people trampling, driving over, and digging under them.  Some of them just need to get replaced, and badly.

But here's the thing.  At the point where all the original Marquette sidewalks met a street, the name of that street was stamped into the sidewalk.  That way, if you were walking down a sidewalk and came to an intersection, you'd just look at the sidewalk and see you were about to cross East Hewitt, as an example.  If you don't trust me, just take a walk around town sometime; every few blocks, you'll notice this.

Anyway, over the years, the street names stamped into the sidewalks have been slowly disappearing.  Because they were always stamped into the last section of sidewalk before the street, many of them were removed to put in slopes to make the sidewalk handicapped accessible.  Others are now being removed because they're just falling apart.  Either way, they're disappearing, and the fact that we noticed that has led to this rather quixotic hobby-

We're trying to photograph ALL the remaining sidewalk street names before they disappear.

Here's the list we've photographed so far--

Adams
Baraga (west)
Bluff (west)
Center
Crescent (east)
Fitch
Fourth (north)
Fifth (south)
Front (north)
Harrison
Hematite (which is now Kaye)
Hewitt (east and west)
High
Norwood
Magnetic (east)
Mather
Michigan (west)
Oak
Park (east & west)
Pine
Presque Isle
Ridge (west)
Second
Sixth (north)
Spruce
Washington (west)

That's it.  Most of Marquette's major streets--like Third, or south Front--don't have the 1915 sidewalk names stamped in them any more, and that's a shame.  Not only that, but you may notice that the ONLY street name south of the bypass is Adams Street! 

I've had a couple of people ask what we're gonna do with these once we've documented them all, and, you know, I'm not quite sure.  We just wanted to make sure that they WERE documented before progress erases them from the face of the city.

Once again, if you know of a sidewalk street name NOT on the list, please drop me an e-mail.  Then we'll pay it a visit!!!

After all, EVERYONE needs a quirky hobby, right?

8-)

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