A typical American midwestern city; 14,000 souls. Named after the German town. Founded in 1829 - anything left from those days? Let’s see.

This is a relief, a good sign: prosperous painted lady next to a old friend - although the building on the left looks like someone squished in their seat when a heavy-set person sat down next to them.

Some regrettable brick on the bottom floor, but it keeps the building from being frozen in time. Looks as if it’s in use, which is preferable to being perfect and empty.

Whoa: wonder what went down for this.


Maybe there was a fire, then nothing for decades. This swoopy thing is hard to date; I’d say 1975 - 1980.

You know what it was, or is. By now you have to know.

The OUB, or Obligatory Ugly Bank. Sorta kinda has columns, as a bank should, but it's the barest hint. The end of a two-milennia tradition, ending before your eyes.

I’d bet $5 this was a department store.

I’d bet $2.50 it had a metal front, too. With big script letters.

No, it doesn’t fit in - and that’s what makes the block interesting.

Everything else is late 19th-century skinny-window architecture; here comes a big tall proud slab of Rome.

Boarded up windows: the sign of the American small-town downtown. Even when the building is still in use. It’s just peculiar how many building owners said “no access to light and air, that’s what this structure needs.”


Nice frame for the Google Car.

Another example of retrofitted windows. I’m sure they wanted modern windows to practical reasons, but c'mon.

Lop off the onion dome! Board up half the windows! There, the old gal’s ready for 1965.


Buckaroo’d and then some, with those scary scar-tissue slats in the windows:


The third floor of the building on the right looks as if it’s stuffed with ancient junk and mummified hobos.


The third floor of the building on the left had a big window that let light stream in to glorify the interior - artist’s studio? Dance school? Must have been lovely on a twilight summer evening.

The NBA used to meet on the third floor:

Look at the ground floor’s attempt to make the building more inviting. One guy said “I’m putting up some ersatz Byzantine stuff all the way around; want to go in with me?” and the other said “I’m putting up a some fake stones and then my name will go over that, and that’s the end of the discussion”

Some day those buildings might be saved. But imagine living in this town in the 40s: even then, these buildings would look archaic.

Your occasional reminder that trees accomplish nothing.

"We can do so much with bricks now!”

Yes, fine; why didn’t you, then? This looks like a Minecraft castle.

Boo, a ghost:

A remnant of a furniture store. Watch the original building go down here, if you wish.


The Civic Glory around which the rest of the downtown revolves.

These always seem to look better than the businesses that fed them.