For years, drive heading east along I-94 from Madison to Milwaukee offered a smile.
At the Highway 83 exit in Delafield, a few shops inside an iconic yellow barn featured two eyes and a big smile on the west-facing side. It was a landmark for travelers, and its removal in 2002 disappointed many.
During the 16 years since, the barn has remained but without its smile, hosting a few other shops, most recently a furniture and gift shop called Montage. And the barn had been painted black.
With the approval of the council in Delafield, the barn will return to its recognizable yellow color along with the big smile. It will be two new eyes and a new smiling mouth, because the original "smiley face" went to the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago. But hey, the more smiling barns, the better.
Normally something like this wouldn't be approved design-wise, but in Delafield they decided to categorize it as "public art" to get it through - thankfully, because would you really want a fuddy-duddy planning commission saying no? Uh-uh.
The new store inside, by the way, will be called "The Smiley Barn." Because really, would people call it anything else??