Faces of Fourth is a featured series on the folks that are the heart and soul of Historic Fourth Avenue. From the merchants who bring commerce to life, to the buskers who fill the avenue with sound, there are many people to celebrate on Fourth Avenue.
If you wandered around the Avenue during the holiday season this past year, you might have noticed that the street was a bit brighter than in previous years. That’s because the Fourth Avenue Merchant’s Association (FAMA) commissioned custom cactus lights that lit up the Avenue. The lights were designed and made by Todd Rothrock and the team at Iron Horse Fabricators.
The lights were such a hit that Todd is currently working on producing even more for this upcoming holiday season. But that’s not all Todd and the Iron Horse team are working on to beautify our Avenue. Iron Horse Fabricator’s projects can be seen up and down the avenue including custom trash and recycling bins, planter boxes out on the street and custom work inside some Avenue shops. Most recently, they’ve done work for Public Brewhouse and REVEL Wine + Beer.
The Iron Horse Fabricators workshop is just off the Avenue on 9th Street. While Todd and his crew are always busy inside during the day, in the evenings a few times a month the space transforms into a Venue for live music and art shows.
Right next door, Todd’s wife runs a mosaic studio, Gone 2 Pieces. Her space serves as a workshop for her custom mosaic work, commissioned mosaic work for clients, and workshops for the community. This is one talented duo!
We chatted with Todd and the Iron Horse Fabricators team a bit to find out what makes Fourth Avenue a special place to them.
Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and how you got to Tucson.
Todd Rothrock (Tucson native), Chris Roed (Close enough to native), and John Christian (Tucson native). All of us came from manufacturing or fabrication in many iterations over the years.
What do you do on the Avenue?
Iron Horse is a small boutique fabrication studio. All of us are semi-retired to some degree or another, and just enjoy making things. We mostly work with mixed media, specifically wood and metals. We can build or fix almost anything and love a challenge.
When did the avenue first start playing a major role in your life?
From Todd: My wife Chello and I bought this property about 2 years ago and saw the potential in it. It’s a great central corner, close to everything. We started working for FAMA shortly after and are the creators of the trash cans and metal art, as well as the saguaro Christmas lights.
What’s one of your favorite things about The avenue?
You can walk to everything you need or want to do, and the camaraderie among the local businesses is just fantastic.
Where is one of your favorite places to frequent on Fourth?
From Todd: There are too many to list! Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar, Public Brewhouse, REVEL Wine + Beer (are you noticing a theme with the first 3?), The B-Line, Bison Witches, Che’s Lounge, Lindy’s on 4th, The Drunken Chicken, and Isabella’s Ice Cream. Just to name a few!
Tell us one of your most memorable experiences on the avenue.
Seeing our cactus lights for the first time at night! We really love being part of the Avenue and contributing to it.
If you could time travel, what year would you like to visit Fourth Avenue?
10 years from now…
Keep up with the Iron Horse Fabricators team online at facebook.com. And don’t miss their monthly Open Mic nights.