This was the second year for the amazing Madison Main Street Loft Tour. We didn’t get to go last year because we had obligations at Hanover’s homecoming. This year we skipped homecoming in favor of checking out some of the amazing spaces that hover above us in downtown Madison.
The loft tour is awesome regardless of where you’re coming from. For out-of-towners, hopefully there’s a chance to see some of the inspiring spaces downtown just waiting for someone to move to town and give them a little love. And for the loft spaces that have been re-furbished, you can see the possibilities–how beautiful a loft apartment that looks down on Madison’s Main Street could be.
For me, the cool thing about the loft tour is being able to see spaces that are both intimate and exotic. I’ve spent hours and hours staring at the two buildings that sit next to City Hall, as they’re across the street from my favorite coffee shop. I have long loved the bay window in the one building. I’ve often wondered what it looked like inside. On Saturday, I got to see those spaces at last and they did not disappoint.
Imagine what it would be like to live in an apartment here, with that bay window looking down on the coffee shop? All the action of Main Street (and there’s a lot of action) laid out for you 24 hours? It’s sort of like a writer’s dream come true, or maybe anyone who’s just really into people-watching.
And on the subject of writer’s dreams-come-true, there’s the re-furbished apartment space above Village Lights Bookstore. A beautiful apartment with a view of Main Street and an awesome, independent bookstore right below–it doesn’t get much better than that. These guest quarters can be used for visiting writers and artists, which makes me wish I was a writer visiting Madison.
We got to see into the bell tower of the tallest building in Madison, Trinity Methodist Church (no, we did not get to ring the bell). At the Fountain Building, which used to be Vail-Holt Funeral home, we saw these marble sinks, installed in all the rooms on the second floor. The sinks wouldn’t have been original to the house, as there wasn’t running water. They were still pretty cool.
The highlights of the tour for us? The adorable apartment at 108 Main St. and 103 W. Fountain Alley, including a cute little, portable bar (yes, you can see what our priorities are) and a great Madison, art print. Then the view from the third floor of that buildings next to City Hall. Isn’t our town beautiful?
But the very best was the top floor of the Fountain Building. This attic will make an awesome living space. For now, it’s where two antique embalming tables still sit, pushed into a corner against the windows that look down onto the sidewalks where I walk by every day.
This is what the loft tour so perfectly reveals–even in a space as small and as intimate as downtown Madison, there are so many more secrets to explore. You can spend the whole of your life in a spot and never know everything about it. What a wonderful thing to remember.