On our walk Monday morning we discovered an oil painter perched on the sidewalk in front of a Trachte building on Commercial Avenue. I went up to say hello. He introduced himself as John Elliot and told us the story of how the building was his favorite record store during college.
Mr. Elliot went to college at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I asked him what record that he bought at the store was his favorite and he said he couldn’t name just one. He smiled and said he still prefers LPs because of their superior sound. John paints with oils in his retirement. I asked him if he has a website, he does not. His works are at a small local gallery.
The Trachte buildings are common throughout east Madison, because the company was founded here in 1901 by George and Arthur Trachte. In the 1950s, their Quonset Hut design became popular, like the building in these photos. Until 1985 their business was located within a half mile away in our neighborhood. They have moved to the city next door, Sun Prairie, in order to have enough space for their business. After 120 years, the company still makes steel prefabricated self storage structures.
One by one the Trachte structures in our city have fallen into disuse and many are no longer around. I’m glad John Elliot is conserving this bit of Madison history with his paintings.
This post is part of Debbie’s Six Word Saturday.