I was sitting in the office, putting off the column, and decided to do the text for a Clippings. I've gotten behind on getting ahead. I needed to finish Week of August. I had set aside a paper from 1924, and noted a few interesting stories. One front page piece was an interview with Leopold and Loeb, facing the death house, so i wrote about that. A reporter interviewed the pair after the conviction, and found that one was arrogant and the other didn't really want to talk about executions  'n' stuff but maybe keep it light?

About four hours later: Daughter sends a text.

I could honestly say I was just thinking about L&L and prove it with some clippings.

So that was fun. In the horrible-murder sense.

Elsewhere in the world around us, or at least me: Lobby Pizza today.

It's illegal to sit again.


This is so they can serve pizza without checking vaccine status. Elsewhere in the skyway:

  This was across the hallway from a sheriff's order taking possession of the contents of an Italian restaurant. There were five eateries in this particular node before; there is one now.

Whole lotta white supremacy, colonialism and homogenization gettin' undone.

By the way, one of the restaurants was Indian, run by immigrants; the other was an Asian cuisine place. The one that remains is Greek. OG White supremacists, right there.


I don’t know why I’m so interested in this building. Perhaps because the block has reached across time and space to plead its case, and no one else seems to rise in its defense. Yes, that’s it! A supernatural explanation is always the most convincing. Anyway, we saw it last Tuesday in Product, the address of an office, and also the Tudor-style building popped up in an addition in the 1920s section.

The 562 Fifth was completed in 1921. It’s an ordinary thing. It has a pediment on the top, something that looks backwards to the early days of skyscraper aesthetics. It’s thin, too., The Palladian windows lend the facade some interest, and keep if from being a wall of brick.

It went up as the I. Miller building. The name might be familiar to old Times Square enthusiasts. You can find some history here.

  We saw some details the other day; here's another strange symbol.

Then and now.

It went down for a new tower, and the demolition included these ordinary, unremarkable buildings. You can’t say no. I mean, you can, if you want to reimburse the owners for the revenue they’d lose. But, no. Buildings of this scale are the fabric of a city, the glue, the connective tissue. They're human scaled.

No, this isn't good.

These buildings will go as well:

Probably spec, rote style, ordinary 20s structures. But they have the character and solidity brick lends to the street.

The replacement? Plans for the the site were announced in 2016. No word for half a decade, and then: yikes. I love skyscrapers, but there's been a transformation of Manhattan that makes it bigger, and somehow less impressive.

It's not the same as emptying out a downtown, as I've seen here, but in the end, it has a similar effect.



And now, this year's Above-the Fold Kul-chah Feature, or ATFKF.

Opzittende hond in een stoel bij een raam, anonymous, c. 1900 - c. 1910 You can sound out exactly what that means, right? It's an Opposite Hound!

Either this fellow had a fast shutter or that was a remarkably still dog. And I'm sure he'd like us to appreciate his use of lighting. All so. Can I tell him the door annoys me? No? Okay.








Almost fifty-five hundred souls. History:

In 1894, Algona, along with other Iowa communities such as Dysart and Wesley, became part of the project known as the "Orphan Trains". As New York City saw booming immigration, it also inevitably saw a rise in the number of orphans in its asylums. Unable to provide adequate care for them, it saw fit to ship nearly 100,000 westward to start a new life with families across America. Algona itself welcomed nearly 100 orphans into the town, many of whom remained lifelong residents.

Let's take a look around together, shall we?


I’m sure they had a reason for this.

I’m sure they had a reason, too.

Windows? No, can’t say I need any. I need to lean stuff up against the wall inside.

Ah ha: that’s original. Good ol’ Sinclair, the Dino brand. Always good to see they’re still around!

I spoke too soon.


Four minutes of research located his profession.

He sold ice. Among other things.

You wonder what it was like when it was first built, no? What facade might lurk beneath?

Nothing! That’s what it looked like when built, in 1951. The ads called it “The most fire-proof theater in Kossuth County,” which might have had something to do with its two predecessors burning down.

And another:

Cinematreasures says that “According to local residents, the State 3 Theater is in the former Ben Franklin.”

Well, that's a  journey.

Original design, unmodified?

It was a furniture store. All towns of this size had a furniture store, named after the owner.

At some point the name changed, I surmise.


“I have a ticket to take this train to Algona. Do you know anything about it, conductor? Do they have a hotel?”


“Why yes, of course they do.”

Ah, the awning. Some towns incorporated these even if there wasn’t shopping-center competition. They had the unfortunate effect of making the second floor disconnected and superfluous.


Extra modern! But . . . .

I fear they painted over that midcentury-modern brick.



“An addition will be a nice gift to downtown, sir. If I may suggest that the strong centering of your original building suggest a new facade, with distinctive -“

“Just copy it and redo it. I’ve already paid you for those plans."


“I want the look of 1967 clip art, without the inevitable fading of paint that leads to a feeling of abandonment and decay.”

Looks like a nice little shrine, or just basic small-town civic improvement. Makes it look as if people around these parts care.

They usually do.

A perfect example of something that looks like a bank . . .

. . . but possibly wasn’t. But could’ve been.

Now on its third century!

Seems rather resolute and unwelcoming, as if it has its forearms crossed on its chest.

Then again, maybe it’s engaged in a stare-down with the town’s interloper.


Skinned? Maybe. OUMB? Almost.

It has a 30s vibe and an 80s vibe and doesn’t really deserve either.

As mid-century as they get.

Complete with HyVee car! Yes, it's Iowa. Well, let's see . . . anything else?

That's an unusual facade. What does the other side look like?

Yes, it's a Sullivan. 1912. He should have been doing big, soaring things. Instead he did small-town banks and office buildings.


Oh RIGHT the Creamery. I completely forgot.

Couldn't find it.





That'll do! More Main Streets, in postcard form, await.




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