Appleton considers naming alleys after historical leaders

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - A number of people who played a vital role in Appleton's history could potentially be recognized as the city considers naming its alleys.

Alley between houses in Appleton (WBAY photo)

The idea was discussed during a meeting of the plan commission Tuesday afternoon.

While signs are posted that prohibit parking in alleys across Appleton, there are no signs giving any alleys a specific identity.

However, a proposal being debated right now could change this in the coming months.

Plan Commission Member Tanya Rabec said, "I think the first thing is the alleys do need to be named a little differently. Having them numbered as north, east, west is very confusing to emergency personnel, and also the post office and people in general. So naming it is important, and this is a golden opportunity to recognize some of the founders of Appleton that many of us are unaware of."

At this point, 21 alleys have been identified.

To come up with names, city staff worked with the Appleton Historical Society.

Some of the examples include Gilmore Alley for James Gilmore, who was mayor of Appleton in 1866, and Fischer Alley for Anton Fischer, who opened the city's first brewery in 1858 in what's now known as the "Between the Locks" building.

"They saw an opportunity to give some recognition to people who haven't been given recognition and also looking at some other streets that were recognizing people that are being vacated as part of development and this was just a way to maintain continuity," said Alderperson Vered Meltzer.

Other names might be more familiar, like Ferber Alley for Edna Ferber, an Appleton-born author and playwright who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1924.

The city council is expected to vote on the proposal June 5.

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