‘Talking Art’ With Felix Vallejo – Radio Interview

By Carolyn Martin. Originally published on the NPR Quad Cities website.

Felix Vallejo purchased in 2017 a dilapidated building at 820 5th Avenue in Moline that had originally been a Skelly gas station. Built in 1932, it needed significant repair work and had become an eyesore in the Floreciente neighborhood. A collaboration between Felix and the Global Communities organization resulted in the historic renovation of the building’s exterior and the painting of a brightly colored mural on the retaining wall adjacent to it.

The original gas station was built in the Tudor Revival style, complete with two wood and stucco gables, and diamond shaped windows in which the old Skelly logo has been replaced. Vintage gas stations were often built with decorative elements in the 1930’s and 1940’s, in contrast to the utilitarian designs of today.

Listen to our conversation here about the work that was completed, the sense of community pride that was the catalyst for this project, and what can happen when many different individuals and organizations collaborate to beautify our neighborhoods.

Global Communities is funded in Floreciente by the John Deere Foundation. Employees from John Deere Seeding in Moline and from Habitat for Humanity also helped with this project. The future function of the building has not yet been determined.

Listen to the interview with Felix Vallejo here.