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The wrecking ball is taking this handsome old red brick building down, beginning today. The photos were taken just last night — its last as a complete structure. Once the long time home of Waal’s department store, an old fashioned store in the Marshall Fields tradition, and until recently the site of the beloved Antique Mall in Walworth, Wisconsin, it shall soon be but a memory, along with the end of the town square, thanks to plans to straighten out the highway for passing trucks (the corner of the town square with, a beautiful statue, also to be moved, can be seen in the foreground) This little community, long on small town tradition, will soon be “longing” to find ways bring some of it back.

Old Waal's Dept Store/Antique Mall, Walworth, WI

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Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, near where I hang my winter (and summer) hat, will host on Feb. 2-5 the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship, the top snow sculpting competition for U.S. carvers. Entrants come from as far away as Alaska. Who knows — somebody may decide to carve Sarah Palin this year! Talk about frozen beauty. Final judging will take place the morning of Saturday, Feb. 5th, on the frozen lawns of the Riviera Ballroom and boat docks at Lake Geneva’s shore front. The event is held in the midst of Lake Geneva’s annual Winterfest. I never miss it! An early tour of the creative snow sculptures is the perfect appetizer for a big country breakfast.

Candlelit live jazz over $32 venison is out and cycling-friendly $10 lunch plates will soon be in, says Madison, WI, restaurateur Chris Berge, who plans to close Restaurant Magnus and reopen it as an urban, bike-themed restaurant.
Berge, who recently proposed building a restaurant along the Southwest Path that would be inaccessible by automobile, said he plans to open Velo Bahn in March just off the Capitol Square on East Wilson Street, where Magnus has been located since 1998 and will close Jan. 2.
The change is in reaction to a declining market for fine dining and the anticipated arrival of rail passengers from Milwaukee across the street in 2013, Berge said.

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