Abel Contemporary Gallery

Architecture —

Reddymade designed the adaptive reuse and restoration of this two-story historic former tobacco warehouse into a contemporary art gallery in Stoughton, WI. Originally constructed in 1891, this building is representative of how important the tobacco industry was to the economy of Stoughton which at one time was home to seventeen such warehouses. This warehouse is one of three remaining in the town and is architecturally unique.

Gallery owners Tim O’Neill and Theresa Abel purchased the century-old building in 2018, which used to be an antique mall. They saw the potential for this 8,000 square foot warehouse to become a perfect backdrop for the arts and crafts in the region. The tobacco warehouse No. 5 finds a revived voice amongst contemporary works of art, breathing new life into the old building. The gallery is made up of three different levels, with a portion of the top floor repurposed as an exhibit space offering an opportunity for more immersive works such as art and video installations. The clients realized that the two floors and the basement will more than accommodate the needs of the gallery, so they decided that the basement would be divided into rentable studios for artists.

The design and vision of this project have made it possible for Abel and O’Neill to expand their business from a commercial art gallery to a multipurpose arts destination that includes video and performance space, artist studios, and workshops, drawing an audience from around the Midwest.

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