home again, his native land; he was born of it and his bones will sleep in it

The Choate Building (constructed of red brick)
The area where I grew up is filled with historic buildings--there are 44 on the National Register of Historic Places in this county. Because it's always been like this, through my whole memory, it always seemed normal to have shops and restaurants located in century-old, priceless buildings. Having moved back to these surroundings after such a long absence, though, the whole area appears much more remarkable to me now.
One of the standouts is the Choate Building, pictured here. Construction was completed in 1888, when it was opened as Choate's Department Store.

I remember visiting that store as a child--it was open that long.

Balconies detail
My dentist's office was housed in an upper floor area on the east side. I recall riding the elevator, which was a scary and exhilarating experience. To my knowledge, it was the first passenger elevator in which I rode.
I've always loved and been deeply intrigued by the stone balconies on the fourth floor, looking out over Third and Center Streets. I would imagine that the north-facing one has a gorgeous view of the Mississippi River and the bluffs of Wisconsin.

The street-level is now (and has for many years been) occupied by a home-goods and decorating store run by the owners of the building. It is one of those go-to places during gift giving times, because they have something for nearly anyone (think: Hallmark but with extensive sidelines). The upper floors have been renovated into student apartments, which is horrifying and disappointing. Though I would love to see them (and, thereby, see those balconies and the view, right up close) it makes me very sad to think of students being students and doing the stuff they do inside that gorgeous building.

One of the best parts about this building is that it is located about a block from my workplace. I see it regularly, and occasionally have the opportunity to just sit and contemplate it, while eating lunch outside or waiting for a friend. It's lovely to have a closer connection with a place that's always been fascinating to me.

[the title quotation is by William Faulkner, from Mississippi]

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