Milwaukee's Lake Park, May, 2012
Here are my travels around Lake Park, with photographs of locations in the same order in which I visited them. I parked on a side-street across from Mitchell Hall and proceeded east toward Lake Park.
"View the three stories of Mitchell..."
A memorial plaque near Mitchell Hall...
"As you walk the beating of the world / At a distance in time / From three who lived there..." We've conjectured that "beating of the world" is a reference to Kenwood's dominance of the electric mixer market at the time, OR to Kenwood being "a leading worldwide provider in audio and speaker systems in 1982" (Sonoran, 7/29/07). We know that Downer, Hackett, and Shepard were influential residents of Milwaukee. Summit Ave. was apparently neglected by Preiss if he is referring to these people.
"At a distance in space / From woman, with harpsichord / Silently playing..." It's somewhat obscure, but I will buy the theory that this is BP's reference to Marietta Robusti.
And now, on to Lake Park, where we immediately encounter Oak Leaf Trail ("Step on nature..."), at the intersection of Kenwood Blvd., Lake Drive, and Lincoln Memorial Drive...
And around the bend onto Lincoln Memorial Drive ("Cast in copper...")...
Until we get to the Grand Staircase with its two "Cs" ("the grand 200"). The two C-shaped segments are conjectured to be the (Roman numeral) "grand 200" of which BP wrote. I counted these steps again (twice this time). There are 95 if one starts at the bottom and counts every subsequent step until one reaches the top, for a total of 96 levels (counting top and bottom landings). If you subtract off the 4 steps in the disconnected section at the bottom, you get 92 ("Ascend the 92 steps").
"After climbing the grand 200," I turned left and soon encountered this restoration project:
...which probably looks very different now than when BP saw it in 1981-ish:
On the way to the lighthouse we pass the pediment to the statue of Brigadier General Erastus B. Wolcott...
Then one of the Lion Bridges...
And finally the North Point Lighthouse, so we can "Pass the compass." The grassy area between the bridges and across from the lighthouse has been greatly improved since the last time I saw it, when the fenceposts were hidden among overgrowth at the wood's edge.
We must "Pass the compass," but pass it in which direction? We could proceed along the path, or we could cut west at this point and pass more closely to the lighthouse. Because I hadn't done that before, I chose the latter path.
Here is an old drain cap -- have we reached "The foot of the culvert"?
Now we are just off Wahl Ave. west of the lighthouse and at the head of one of the ravines that descend toward Lake Michigan. This is the head of the ravine just north of the lighthouse, which we have been calling North Lion Bridge Ravine.
Incidentally, I counted 6 "ravines" in Lake Park. From north to south, they are:
There's a guitarist under the bridge, playing for no one in particular. I doubt he was there in 1981.
We've reached the bottom, looking southwest at the trees where we dug a few years ago.
The grass is in excellent shape where we were careful to replace the turf, according to the park's request.
From here I ascended the trail in the South Lion Bridge Ravine to its top, then descended, snapping photos:
I crossed the busy Lincoln Memorial Drive to see Lake Michigan up-close.
It turns out Lake Michigan doesn't smell so good, so I turned back and took a few more random photos.
I am now quite sure our giant "birches" are in fact cottonwoods.
A corner of a rock wall that AP (?) drew our attention to some time ago, now overgrown.
Toward the soccer field...
Looks like Wilhouse has been here with his backhoe!
The badly deteriorated track and soccer field:
The Grand Stair, once more...
I climbed it one more time and headed north, to an old bridge I suppose was once the northern extension of Oak Leaf Trail (the road over the Lion Bridges).
En route, a 5-trunked tree, reminscent of the lady's cloak in P10. This is just north of the Bistro.
Most (all?) of the lampposts in Lake Park bear the masonic "G" ("letter from the country of wonderstone's hearth"?).
Another bridge north of the Bistro, no longer a through-road.
On the way back to my car, I noted that the sidewalk paving along Kenwood Blvd. is a patchwork of concrete squares placed there over many decades, from the 1930s to 2012. In case this proves useful later for solving the verse, here are some photos with legible dates:
And in case one is stuck in the 1920s and needs immediate assistance...