Garver Feed Mill—Renaissance and Memory
October 6, 2019
Twelve years ago during a walk to find photographs in Madison, Wisconsin, where I was visiting, I passed what looked like an abandoned building. On it was painted the name Garver. I have a friend whose last name is Garver, so of course I took a snapshot to show her. This summer my daughter and daughter-in-law treated me to a return visit to the building—vacant for two decades before renovation began in 2017. They didn’t know I had photographed it in 2007 but thought I would find the Garver Feed Mill interesting. (They are great scouts!) This time I photographed in earnest, trying hard not to wish I had been witness to many more of the building’s iterations. A plaque outside one of the doors gave information about the building, and putting this post together I learned more. I find it interesting that the Wisconsin State Capitol and the Garver Feed Mill were completed in the same year. And it’s fun to see that remnants of old graffiti add an artistic touch to the cleaned masonry. I like buildings that hold visual evidence of their past; this one also included bricked-in doorways and windows, patched walls, sheared-off I-beams, and what must be gouges from former industrial activity. If you’d like to know more about the Garver Feed Mill, don’t miss the Wisconsin State Journal article that features photographs taken through the years, going back to 1924. Also of interest are an article in the Wisconsin State Farmer and two links on a City of Madison web page: the Garver Final Report and a presentation by the restoration architects.
1 This is the photograph I took in 2007.
2 This is the photograph I took of the same wall this August.
4 This is steel (I think) cladding on a newer part of the facade. The next two photographs are from nearby sections of the wall.
11 I learned from my reading that the white bricks indicate water damage.
12 Were these patches on an interior wall made lately or in older times? My guess is older times.
20 Even the new women’s room’s concrete floor has artistic appeal.