Friday, September 04, 2009

Vacation Pix: Iconic Allegan

When you grow up in a picturesque town, you have to leave for a few years before you can really appreciate it. Allegan might be small enough to photowalk in a day — I’m just hitting the highlights here — but you might want to bring extra memory cards and make a weekend of it.

Icons of Allegan

Canon EOS 40D, 28-135mm IS/USM lens
various exposures

Top left: The 2nd Street bridge, one of very few 19th century iron bridges still in use. Built in 1886, it’s one lane plus a walkway. It spans the Kalamazoo River, and connects M-89 to the industrial east side of town. The bridge was renovated after nearly a century of use, and is now the anchor of an annual “BridgeFest” in town. Not too many Historic Register places that are used for their original purpose, but this is one of them.

Top right: The Regent Theatre has been showing movies for… well, I think my mom went there when she was a kid. It looks pretty much the same as it did when I was a kid, standing in line outside to buy a ticket for the latest show. Here’s another Historic Register site that’s still used for its original purpose.

Bottom left: The Griswold Auditorium. I’ve seen plays and travelogues here, and was on stage and backstage a number of times myself. Whoever built the place had a sense of humor: “ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE” is emblazoned above the stage itself. It was years after I first saw it that I learned it was a line from Shakespeare.

Bottom right: The Allegan Public Library was one of the Carnegie libraries. It has been expanded since I moved away, and I have no idea whether the beautiful wooden floors and shelves are still intact upstairs. The kids’ section was downstairs, and I plowed through it pretty thoroughly in my younger years.

I didn’t get nearly as much time as I would have liked to explore, especially to see what has changed — I know the old free parking down by the river has been partially turned into a riverwalk, with a concert gazebo, and it really looks nice. Not to mention the storefronts…

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