Little Falls: it’s not near Great Falls.

One hell of a Romanesque County Seat Courthouse:

The current courthouse was completed in 1891 and built in the Victorian Romanesque Revival style.  It was designed by C.A. Dunham and built by Foster and Smith of Minneapolis at a cost of $55,000.

You can't see the additions here, and perhaps that's just as well.

In 1961, a flat, rectangular, two-story brick building with vertical bands of windows was added on the north at a cost of $187,519.  In 1969, slightly more than $500,000 built a matching brick "projecting-drawer box" on the northeast corner of the square.  A glass concourse connects the three.

The two worst years to add anything to a building from this era.

I’m torn. On one hand, that’s not original, and the windows look off-putting . . .


On the other hand, they did use polychrome stone in the old days, and it’s certainly better than having its brickwork scraped off or hidden. Still needs a sandblasting, though.

Three buildings? One?


W. Tonn, 1895. History:

The W. Tonn Building was constructed in 1895 by William Tonn and was first used as a saloon. In the early to mid-1900s it was transformed into Smacker's Pool Hall and remained that for many years.

A false wooden facade covered the original brick for many years and also concealed the steel storefront columns and transom windows, which were lost from public view. They were uncovered in 1998 when the owner, David Verkkuilen, had the storefront renovated.

The crisp sophistication of the late 60s . . .


. . . is nowhere on display.

I don’t know if this was built in two stages or one.


What seems clear: the bottom floor had a different type of window, suffered modernization, and was re-rehabbed to make the ground floor fit in again with the rest of the building. Doesn’t entirely work, but it's better than a long Buckaroo Revival shingled awning (Shudder)

All I can say is . . .


Herein lies a tale.

How now, brown town:


"We'll let them look halfway out the second floor, but third floor? Forget it."


The rare sign of an old chain: you don’t see many Rexall ghost ads.


The building next door was obviously added to the picture by computer animation.



A beautiful restoration, or perhaps it was never covered up in the first place:


You know what the building on the corner was, don't you? Without peering at the carving?



And you know what this one is.


Obligatory 60s / 70s downtown-ruining bad bank.


Ahhh. Come on in - for popcorn, you say? I could be convinced.

The Little Theatre opened in 1913 and built on the site of the former Lowell Theatre that was destroyed by fire in that same year. That was destroyed by fire in 1933 and the Falls Theatre was built and opened in May 1933.

The exterior features flashing neon lights, black vitrolite highlights the marquee and around the poster cases of the lobby.

After a couple remodels it was again remodeled in 1937 to reflect the 10th anniversary of Charles Lingbergh’s trans-atlantic flight. Charles Lindbergh was from Little Falls. The theatre was given an aviation theme. A mural of an aviator holding, a globe, an airplane and a dirigable.

Marquees like this made a town proud. They made your town your town.