For more than 120 years, one of the finest examples of architect Harvey Ellis’s short career is the Mabel Tainter Memorial. Now known as the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, the imposing sandstone building stands on Menomonie’s northeast corner of Main and East Second Street.
Yet there is little known about the man who put his vision on paper. Thankfully, there was someone, Roger Kennedy, who put what he learned of Ellis in a short essay.
Kennedy is the author of Men on the Moving Frontier-From Wilderness to Civilization, The Romance, Realism, and Life-Styles of One Part of the American West. Published in 1969, it is a vital source of some of the details of Harvey Ellis’ life who he describes as “the gifted but responsible genius, poet-architect, whose pencil death stopped ere it had traced more than a few soft lines of his dream of beauty.”