As I walked along a quiet stretch of Vliet Street on a recent afternoon, this building caught my eye. I’m not exactly sure why, but it did. I stopped and spent some time, and this is what I saw.
Blue paint chips from a base of aged brick
revealing the sandstone layers
A bird twitters a lonely plea from the tree
in front, still without its leaves.
Windows broken, bandaged with wire;
a sign on the door:
VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED.
Shards of glass and drips of old
black paint, slowly eroded
from the fire escape above,
a weather-eaten piece of wood
resting on its lower level,
moss creeping up the front door.
will it ever be used again?
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One thought on “419 West Vliet Street”
A lovely man named Paul Riesen operated a business and lived there in his old age. That was the door to his living space. He also rented space for others to live and have artist studios. He was an eccentric and family member of people who built some of the other great buildings in Milwaukee.