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Walking Tour of Milwaukee

            Not a particularly memorable for my final effort on WordPress.com, but it is what it is. If you enjoyed my blog, please join me at www.garystravels.com for more of the same. There will be many more pictures and hopefully a continuation of good and informative content.  Thanks for the viewership.

      Gary 

 

            The largest city in Wisconsin is primarily associated with beer. For many years, it was the home of several of the world’s major producers of the popular beverage. It was also, because of its reputation as a “working man’s city,” a disembarkation point for huge numbers of immigrants. These two disparate but related origins contributed to the city’s cultural tradition which is still evident in many of the neighborhoods, and even in the downtown area.

             My walk begins at Cathedral Square, which runs along E. Wells Street, a few blocks from the Milwaukee River. Across from the square’s eastern end is St John the Evangelist Cathedral. The square is the site of several city gatherings and festivals during the year.

            From here, walk west on E. Wells Street, to visit the imposing and impressive City Hall, once the tallest building in the world (from 1895 to 1899). It reaches 353 feet, and is still a significant city landmark. Be sure to carefully observe the stained glass windows, ceilings, and intricately carved woodwork of the interior.

            As you continue walking westward, note the Pabst Theater, near the intersection with Water Street. Now, cross the river and turn left on Plankington Street, to Wisconsin Avenue, and turn right, along the Shops of Grand Avenue. Continue westward, although shoppers will want to enter the mall and make their way among the many shops. When you cross 11th Street, you are entering the campus of Marquette University. At 14th Street, turn left to visit the St Joan of Arc Chapel. Actually, this small, Gothic church was built in France and stood in the Rhone River valley for almost 500 years before being moved, first to Long Island, NY (1927), and then to Milwaukee (1965).

            Next, return to Wisconsin Avenue and turn left, continuing westward, to reach the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion, at the intersection of 20th Street. The Flemish-Renaissance architecture of this palatial residence, built in 1892, is distinctive. The sumptuous interior is also worthy of the tourist’s time.

            After your visit, walk north on 20th Street, and turn right on Wells Street. The Milwaukee Public Museum, with natural history and cultural history exhibits, is located at the intersection with 8th Street, on the left.

            Continue eastward, re-crossing the Milwaukee River, and then turn right on N. Water Street, to access and sample Milwaukee’s Riverwalk, a scenic, pedestrian-only walkway along the river, which features many shops and restaurants.

            When you reach Michigan Street, walk eastward, away from the river. This street eventually enters Lake Park, one of the city’s premier public areas along Lake Michigan. Turn left on Art Museum Drive to get to the Milwaukee Art Museum, housed in a distinctive, modern building.

            Now, continue northward, through the park, as far as Well Street, and then turn left, to return to Cathedral Square.

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Blog Alert

   Readers — Note that this is my penultimate post on this website. I have purchased my own website, although it will not look decidedly different for a while. You can find me at www.garystravels.com. Please take a look. All my archives have been moved as well so you can find the same content.

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Walking Tour of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,USA

             “Steel City” has been transforming itself, over recent years, from its image as the quintessential industrial, sterile, urban landscape, into a center for the Arts and Culture. The city is also kept forever young by the presence of several colleges in the downtown area, the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, and Carnegie Mellon University. The many excellent museums and cultural entertainment venues testify to the success of this transformation. When you add to this the dramatic and picturesque location of the city, it is apparent why Pittsburgh has become a significant tourist destination.

             My walk begins at Point State Park, occupying the triangle of land at the confluence of the three rivers, the Monongahela, the Allegheny, and the Ohio, which have always made the city an important inland port. This was the site of Fort Pitt, an important outpost, fought over by British, French, and Colonial American forces. The only reminder of this fort is the Blockhouse. Nearby is the Fort Pitt Museum, which documents these early times in the region’s history. The centerpiece of the park is the fountain, America’s largest, up to 200 feet high. It is attractively lit at night.

     Leave the park by walking west on Boulevard of the Allies, to Smithfield Street. Turn right to cross the Monongahela, on the Smithfield Bridge. You will see Station Square, on your right, after crossing. Walk across the square and then across Carson Street, to reach the Monongahela Incline, a funicular which carries visitors to the top of Mount Washington, for great views of the Golden Triangle and the city’s skyline.

            Return to the downtown area, and wander through the Bessemer Center at Station Square, which includes a riverwalk with reminders of the city’s industrial history, and a lovely fountain show, synchronized to music.

            Now, backtrack across the river and turn right on 6th Avenue, after passing Mellon Park, and then turn left on Grant Street. You will see the Post Office and Federal Building, en route. Turn left on 11th Street, and right on Penn Avenue, to visit the fascinating Senator John Heinz History Center, on the left, on Smallman Street.

            Next, reverse direction, and walk west on Penn Avenue. Here, you have two options.

  1. To end the walking tour, continue westward on Penn Avenue, noticing Heinz Hall, a lovely restored concert hall, as you proceed. Penn Avenue will eventually return you to Point State Park, where you began.
  2. To extend the walk, turn right, to cross the Allegheny River, on the 7th Street Bridge. A museum dedicated to native son, Andy Warhol, is ahead, on the left, at #117 Sandusky Street.

Next, walk westward on Gen. Robinson Street, and turn left on Mazeroski Street, then right on N Shore Drive, to Allegheny Avenue, home of the Carnegie Science Center, one of the finest museums of its kind in the United States.

After your visit, retrace your steps, back across the 7th Street Bridge, and then turn right on Penn Avenue to return to Point State Park. Note that many of Pittsburgh’s major attractions are outside the city center, on the Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh campuses, so make an effort to check them out before you conclude your visit to this All-American city.

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Walking Tour of Ogunquit, ME

             The adorable town of Ogunquit lies on the southern Maine coast, only a few miles from the New Hampshire border, so it is easily accessible from the Boston, MA and Providence, RI areas. As a result, it has become extremely popular, especially in the summer. The town also has a thriving artist colony.

             My walk begins on Main Street, in the center of town (actually on US Route 1, the coastal highway which spans the east coast). From the square where Beach Street and Shore Roadmeet Main Street, walk south on Shore Road. The walk is extremely pleasant, especially on a summer day when you will have plenty of company. Museum-lovers may want to stop at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, at 543 Shore Road, to see its excellent collection of works.

            When you reach Perkins Cove Road, bear left and follow this road into Perkins Cove, a picturesque little harbor with active fishing boats coming and going.

Perkins Cove

               Take the footbridge across the cove for great views. Then look for the entrance to Marginal Way, a wonderful coastal walking path, which can be found at the base of the parking area of the cove.

            Marginal Way allows users to experience the wonders of the rocky shoreline.

Marginal Way

              There are benches for relaxing and fantastic views of the rugged coastline. Continue along the path for approximately one mile, at which time you will reach Ogunquit Beach. Spend some time at this popular recreation spot and then walk west onBeach Street, which leads to Main Street, where this walking tour began. Before leaving the area, walk up and down Main Street to browse through the shops or have a snack or meal at one of the numerous restaurants.

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Walking Tour of Baltimore

                  Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a remarkable area of resurgence and restoration that has become a model of urban renewal for the entire country.  The Inner Harbor has become a magnet for tourists and residents alike because of its vibrant, varied activities, as well as its many restaurants and shops.  There is now a water taxi service which connects many of Baltimore’s interesting neighborhoods via a pleasant boat trip.  There are also new hotels in the area, built to take advantage of the area’s popularity. 

              My walk begins at the Inner Harbor. Wander around the busy waterfront to appreciate how this rundown and crime-ridden area was transformed due to the imaginative and far-sighted development. You will return after the walk to spend more time here later.

Inner Harbor

                   Now, walk out to the main street (Pratt Street) and turn left. There, a few blocks ahead, on the left, is Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the first of the modern-style baseball parks and a model for subsequent ones. There are shops and restaurants here, as well as museums to browse through.

                     Continue west on Pratt Street and then turn left on Emory Street to visit the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum which pays tribute to, perhaps, baseball’s greatest player.

               After your visit, walk back to Pratt Streetand turn left. Ahead, on the left, is the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum, one of the best examples of its type in the country.

                   Now retrace your steps on Pratt Street, and then turn left onto Greene Street. Ahead, on your right, is Historic Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Edgar Allen Poe is buried here.

           Continue north on Greene Street. At Mulberry Street, turn right, and then left at Cathedral Street. The beautiful Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is on your right. It was the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States.

               Where Cathedral Street meets Centre Street, there is a great little museum, the Walters Art Museum, a city-owned collection of works from ancient times to the present.

            Now, turn right on Centre Street and then left at Charles Street into Mount Vernon Square. The Washington Monument, ahead, is a tribute to America’s first president. Climb the spiral staircase for great views of the city.

              Exit the square walking eastward on Monument Street, and then turn right on Calvert Street, which leads back to the Inner Harbor area. Before completing your walking tour, take a shuttle boat (at Light Street dock) to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the location, during the War of 1812, where the United States’ national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, was penned by Francis Scott Key.

               When you return to the Inner Harbor, note that water taxis are available which offer access to other city neighborhoods, such as, Little Italy, and other attractions, such as, the Maryland Science Center, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

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Walking Tour of St Paul

             The capital of Minnesota is somewhat dwarfed by its “twin” city, Minneapolis, a thriving and modern metropolis, but St Paul has managed to retain its considerable charm and individuality. Life is much less hectic here, although the people are just as friendly.

             My walk begins at Rice Park, a popular square near the center of the downtown area. On the northern side of the square is the beautiful Landmark Center, a former Federal building which has been lovingly restored. The center houses the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Other sides of the park feature the Ordway Music Theater, a popular entertainment venue, and the Public Library.

            Leave the square by walking south on Market Street, and then turn left on Kellogg Boulevard, to reach the Art Deco City Hall & Courthouse. The interior of this prominent city landmark is especially interesting.

            Continue eastward on Kellogg Boulevard, and turn left on Sibley Street, to reach Mears Park, a lovely place to stroll and relax. Now, turn left on 6th Street E, and then right on Minnesota Street, then left on 10th Street, and right on Cedar Street, to find the Minnesota State Capitol, with one of the world’s largest unsupported domes. It is considered one of the nation’s most beautiful capitol buildings. Be sure to tour the stunning interior, as well as the grounds.

            Exit the area by walking southwest on John Ireland Boulevard, and then turn right on Selby Avenue, to visit the Cathedral of St Paul, a beautiful Roman Catholic Church which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed to resemble St Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican.

            After your visit, continue west on Selby Avenue, and turn left on Virginia Street, then left again on Summit Avenue, to see the James J Hill House, former home of the Great Northern Railroad founder, and an elegant Victorian residence.

            Now, walk northwest on Summit Avenue to Kellogg Boulevard, and turn right, then right again on 7th Street West, and then left on Walnut Street. Around the corner at Exchange Street is the Alexander Ramsey House, another splendid Victorian mansion, the former home of the territory’s first governor.

            Next, walk eastward on Exchange Street, and turn right on Kellogg Boulevard, past the Excel Center, and then turn left on Washington Street, to return to Rice Park.

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Walking Tour of Charleston

             On the way into the city, stop at the Visitor Center (375 Meeting Street) to see the orientation film, Forever Charleston, a 36-minute introduction to the city’s long and distinguished history.

             Park the car at the lot on the right-hand side of Meeting St, just after its intersection with Queen St. Exit at Meeting St and take a left to Cumberland. Take a right on Cumberlandand note the Powder Magazine at 79 Cumberland. It is reputed to be the oldest public building in the Carolinas (1713). It was within Charleston’s old City Walls which once was the area bounded today by Meeting Street, Cumberland Street, East Bay Street and Water Street, in this, the oldest part of the city.

            Continue down Cumberland and take a right onto East Bay Street, then a left on Vendue Range (just south of this intersection, slaves were sold at an outdoor public auction block). Continue east to Waterfront Park, which once was the launching area for almost half of Colonial America’s exports until the advent of steam-powered ships (which required deeper harbors).

            Walk south through the park and turn right on Mid-Atlantic Wharf. Turn left onto East Bay Street and continue southward. Notice the Moorish Revival Architecture of #141 East Bay. The Old Exchange Building is at #122 EastBay. This was where imports and exports were processed before distribution and was also where the Declaration of Independence was first read to cheering townspeople in 1776. This building also served as a dungeon, a meeting house, and city hall, and was where President George Washington was lavishly feted during his visit in 1791.  

            Continue on East Bay to “Rainbow Row,” a cluster of waterfront tenements (#’s 79 -107 East Bay) which were restored in the 1920’s.

Rainbow Row

                 Continue southward to the Battery. When you reach the intersection with Atlantic Street, cross the street to the water side and climb the steps to the elevated walkway (known as the High Battery). Stroll south along the High Battery noticing the many antebellum homes across the street.

      The Edmundston-Alston House (1825) is at 21 East Battery. Prince Charles of Wales and the Emperor of Japan were entertained at the William Roper House (1838), #9. The “hot pink” house at 5 East Battery (1848) was built by John Ravenel (whose brother, William, owned the house at #13).

            Stand near the plaque at the end of the elevated walkway and look out at the harbor. The plaque will point the way to Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan’s Island (the island with a lighthouse on the left side of the harbor). The British attacked this fort six (6) days before the Declaration of Independence was signed, in 1776.

            Far out at the entrance into the harbor is the flat shape of Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began on April 12, 1961.

            On Morris Island, the land mass to the right of Fort Sumter, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, commanded by Col Robert Shaw, suffered heavy losses in an attack on a Confederate battery — the basis for the film, Glory.

            Cross the street to White Point Garden which displays several interesting artifacts: Keokuk Gun, in the northeast corner, was salvaged from a Union ironclad which attacked Charleston harbor in 1863; two Confederate Columbiads, part of Fort Sumter’s arsenal, on either side of the walkway at the east edge; the Capstan of the Maine.

            Walk west and then head north on Meeting Street. Note the two windows on the south end of #2 Meeting St, designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

            The Calhoun Mansion (16 Meeting St) (1876) was used in filming the miniseries, North and South. It is the city’s largest single-family residence and contains 35 rooms, each with a fireplace.

            Next door (18 Meeting St) is the Thomas Heyward House (1803). He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Note the three (3) types of columns on the house at #26 Meeting: Doric on the ground floor; Ionic on the 2nd floor; and Corinthian on the top floor.

            Take a left onto Lamboll Street, then right on King Street. The O’Donnell House (#21 King) is an Italianate mansion built for his fiancée who was elsewhere when the house was completed, following the Civil War. The Miles Brewton House (#27) is one of the finest Georgian (1769) residences in America. British Generals Clinton and Cornwallis stayed here when English forces occupied the city.

            Next, take a right onto Ladson Street and go back to Meeting Street. Head north on Meeting St, up to the Nathaniel Russell House (#57 Meeting). It is noteworthy in the United States as an excellent example of Federal architecture. Walk back a few steps and turn left onto Water Street, then take another left onto Church Street.

            Numbers 56-58 Church Street are known as the James Veree Houses, named after the carpenter who built them. At the Thomas Rose House (#59 Church), Doctor Joseph Ladd’s ghost still reputedly haunts the staircase. The First Baptist Church (at #61) was designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument.

            The Richard Caper House (at #69) is a “double” house. Peek into the garden to the left of the house.

            Walking north, you will reach the Heyward-Washington House (#87) (1772) where George Washington stayed during his visit to the city in 1791. Numbers 89-91 Church Street are known as “Cabbage Row” because residents used to advertise and sell produce on the street.

            Just to the north, take a left on Elliott Street, then right on Meeting to its intersection with Broad Street. Here are the famous “Four Corners of Law”: City Hall (representing Local Law), is said to be the oldest in the United States, is at the northeast corner; Charleston County Courthouse (representing State Law) is in the northwest; the US Post Office and Federal Courthouse (representing Federal Law) occupies the southwest corner; and St Michael’s Episcopal Church (Religious Law) is in the southeast (it’s bells were cast in London in 1764).

            Take a right on Broad Streetand left onto Church. On the left, at 135 Church St is the Dock Street Theatre. It used to be the Planters Hotel, where the drink, Planters Punch, supposedly originated.

            Across the street is the French Huguenot Church (#136), founded by Calvinist Protestants who fled Catholic France in the late 1600’s. The congregation here dates back to 1687.

            Further north at 146 Church Street is St Philip’s Episcopal Church which was Charleston’s first congregation (1680). The graveyard contains the remains of colony-founders, Edward Rutledge and Charles Pinckney, as well as statesman John C Calhoun.

St Philip's Church

             Continue north to Market Street, then left to Meeting Street. Check out the shopping at City Market, behind Market Hall (188 Meeting).

            Stop for lunch or a snack at the Southend Brewery & Smokehouse, 161 East Bay Street, at the corner of Queen and East Bay.

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Walking Tour of Savannah

             Savannah, Georgia is a classic city of the Deep South, which grew on the backs of slave labor and the fortunes of cotton-farming.  The downtown area is laid out in an unusual way — homes and neighborhoods were centered on a series of 24 squares which are now landscaped and preserved as city parks.  Twenty-two of the original squares designed by General James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, still remain and they provide a charming walking tour of the downtown area.

               From the Parking Lot on West Congress St, proceed eastward on West Congress Street to Johnson Square. Note the Christ Church (at Bull & East St. & Julian Sts). The original structure on this lot was the first church in the Georgia Colony (1733). This later building was constructed in 1838.

            Continue east on Congress St, past Reynolds Square to Warren Square. Take a right onto Habersham and proceed to Columbia Square. Turn right again and notice, at 324 E State St, Davenport House (1820) whose preservation in 1955 spearheaded the city to cherish and restore its history, resulting in the situation today where much of Savannah’s past is on display for the world to see and admire.

Davenport House

             Continue westward on State St to Oglethorpe Square (named after the colony’s founder), then left onto Abercorn St. At #124 is Telfair’s Owens-Thomas House (1816) where the Marquis de Lafayette was a guest in 1825.

            Continue westward on State St to Wright Square, then take a left onto Bull St. The Birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low is located at 10 East Oglethorpe Ave. She was the founder of the Girl Scouts of America.

            Continue southward on Bull St past Chippewa Square (made famous at the beginning of the movie, Forrest Gump, although the bench was only a prop and has been removed) and down to Madison Square. As you circle Madison Square, note the Green-Meldrim House at 14 W. Macon, which served as General Tecumseh Sherman’s headquarters during the siege of Savannah in 1864. Then proceed eastward onto East Macon St to Lafayette Square. The Andrew Low House is at 329 Abercorn St and was the adult home of the same Juliette Gordon Low who established the first Girl Scout troop in 1912. The Hamilton-Turner House (330 Abercorn) was featured in the novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and is reputed to be haunted.

Hamilton-Turner House

 Note also the Cathedral of St John the Baptist (222 E. Harris St), one of the south’s largest cathedrals.

            Retrace steps westward on East Macon St then left onto Bull Street, then right on West Jones Street. At 107  West Jones, get in line and stop for lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, an incredible experience with authentic Southern food.

            When finished, retrace steps to Bull Street, take a right and proceed south to Forsyth Park. Stroll around the lovely square-turned-park, checking out the beautiful fountain, erected in 1851.

Forsyth Park

             Afterwards, hop on a CAT Shuttle headed back toward the riverfront. Get off at City Hall, at the junction of Bull and Bay Sts.

            Next, wander the riverfront area, strolling along Factor’s Walk and River Street, stopping occasionally to browse in the many shops. Notice, in particular, the Waving Girl Statue, on River Street (a reference to Florence Martus, who, in the early 1900’s, promised her sailor sweetheart that she would wave to every ship until his return).

Waving Girl Statue

             Riverboat cruises are available at the River Street Riverboat Company, near theVisitor Center.  

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Walking Tour of St Louis

             The city of St Louis, dramatically situated on the western bank of the Mississippi River, has long been seen as a gateway to the West. It was the realm of fur traders before the settlers began to congregate here, in preparation for their journey to the new lands, acquired by the US in the Louisiana Purchase. Wagon Trains formed here, and the Pony Express originated not too far away. The city has, of course, grown up from these earlier times, but there are many reminders and memorials which eloquently recall these historic events.

             My walk begins at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, a vast park on the Mississippi riverfront, at the eastern end of Market Street. This is the home of the glittering, stainless steel Gateway Arch, symbolizing this embarkation point for America’s westward expansion, during the 19th century. The 630-foot high silver parabola dominates the park. It was designed by the famous architect, Eero Saarinen, and built in the 1960’s. Visitors can ascend to an observation deck in futuristic pods (not for claustrophobics).

Gateway Arch

                The Visitor Center, below the arch, offers several films. Also on the grounds is the Museum of Westward Expansion, devoted to this pivotal period in American history. Nearby, a bit south of the arch, at the eastern end of Walnut Street, is the Old Cathedral (the Basilica of St Louis, King of France), an 1835 structure.

            From here, walk west on Market Street and turn right on 4th Street to see the Old Courthouse, famous as the location of the Dred Scott slavery trial. Walk west from here, into Kiener Plaza, to get a great photo of the courthouse, framed under the curvature of the arch. A tourist information office is also located on the plaza.

Gateway Arch & Old Courthouse

             Continue west on Market Street, and turn left on S. 8th Street, to reach Busch Stadium (actually at 700 Clark Street), long-time home of the St Louis Cardinals baseball team. Nearby is the International Bowling Museum & Cardinals Hall of Fame. Now, walk west on Clark Avenue, to 12th Street, and turn right. City Hall is on your left, and just beyond it is Soldier’s Memorial Park. It contains the Soldier’s Memorial Military Museum.

            After your visit, continue westward on Chestnut Street, which bisects the park, to reach another park, Aloe Park, which features the dramatic fountain, Meeting of the Waters, created by Swedish sculptor, Carl Miller.

            Next, walk north on N. 18th Street, and turn right on Locust Street. Several blocks ahead, on the right, is Campbell House Museum, former home of a successful fur trader. The museum takes visitors back to a time (1880’s) of Victorian splendor.

            Turn right when you reach 14th Street, and then left on Olive Street, to admire the beautiful Italian-Renaissance-style St Louis Public Library. Now, turn left on N.13th Street, then right on Locust Street, to visit the Christ Church Cathedral, one of the first Protestant churches built west of the Mississippi River.

            Continue east on Locust Street, and then turn right on 9th Street, then left on Olive Street, to pass by the Old Post Office, another city landmark. Next, turn left on 8th Street, and then right on Washington Street, which leads to a restored section of the early St Louis settlement, known as Laclede’s Landing. Wander around the cobblestone streets of this historic area, checking out the many shops and restaurants, before turning south, into the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, where your walk began.

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