The Magic Hour unfolds in the era when State Street was filling up with specialty stores selling soap, shoes, bikes, clothes, gifts, pets, records, dishes, books, tobacco, hats, ice cream and toys, run by a new kind of trailblazing entrepreneur. It tells a story of personal success, failure, and retrenchment. A national shopping spree explodes on the scene, ignited by globalization and a furious growth of monopolies that would radically change the nature of retail, the economy and the class system.
This book blends U.S. history with the city of Madison and State Street’s history and the author’s personal life. The reader gets a lively course in economics and business ownership through the main character’s experience.
About the author: A native of Chippewa Falls, Janice Durand served in the Peace Corps for two years in the sixties, moving to Madison with her husband and two children in 1969. In 1974 she wrote and published Getting the Most out of Madison, a guide to the city. After opening a new gift shop at the Elvehjem Museum of Art, she took a job as coordinator of events on the new State Street Mall. A few years later she opened the Puzzlebox, a toy store for all ages, at 230 State Street. Durand added locations in Milwaukee and St. Louis in the next eight years, and in 1990 opened Little Luxuries, a gift and accessories store, just half a dozen spaces up the street from the Puzzlebox.
The Magic House: A Very Personal History of State Street
by Janice Durand (Philippines 1962-64)
Little Creek Press