Longtime Madison Courier readers will recall the column "Remember When" written by Courier reporter Phil Cole.

Cole loved to tell a good story, and many of them focused on his days growing up on Walnut St. - known to locals as Incubator Avenue - in downtown Madison.

Cole told stories of a tight-knit neighborhood where German working-class families helped out one another.

As times changed, so did Walnut Street.

Businesses left. Some homes were left to decay. The area's vibrancy faded.

But Walnut remained a proud street and many longed for the day it would return to its heyday. Now, city preservation planner Camille Fife is leading an effort to do just that.

The Walnut Street Initiative Committee is exploring ways to revitalize the area, drawing on its rich history.

That history could be the foundation for Walnut Street to be a tourism destination and lead to revitalization of an old neighborhood.

Recognizing the historic significance of Walnut Street is an important undertaking that deserves community support.