Population: over 11,000 souls. Known for its quality glass. Peak population was 16K in 1930, which means this might be one of those towns whose downtown is a bit bigger than the current population might need.

We’ll start with a noble structure: a great piece of early American Classical Revival, from 1881.


The courthouse is surrounded by various memorials to soldiers from the county in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm. The most prominent is the Civil War Monument.

They look more like graves.

Uh - well, I don’t know what it looked like when it was built, but it didn’t look like this.

That’s the one style of facade-modernizing stone that didn’t age well.


Oh no


Oh no

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this type of awning. It’s a nightmare. Yes, you know this is a bar, and yay for still being in business, but that poor building. Three different colors of bricks.

Lights and all, unchanged for over half a century.

“One of these days, I’m going to join the Masons, and use my business contacts to make lots of money, and then I’m going to build a hall right next to old man Johnson’s house and there’ll be nothin’ he can do about it.”


Originally the State Theater. Old pictures of its glorious existence, including some small-town parade photos, here.

It’s a nice brick job. But it’s still a brick job. The building looks dead.

Where does the original end and the respectful, historic addition begin?

Chunky late 20th century modernism without the crisp details of the 60s, or excesses of the 70s and 80s. Not memorable, but not particularly damaging, and for a while it made people think “hey! They built something new downtown!”


OUMB: smoked glass, concrete pillars, blank brick walls . . .


. . . well, at least it made people think “hey! They built something new downtown!”


We’ll end with this oddly anthropomorphic building:


That snoopy verdigris moustache, the ill-advised brick that’s obviously new - did they pick out old bricks to put in the white ones, or do the entire facade?