You might think “Trailers? Campers? RVs?” No. That’s in Iowa. This town is named after the Indian Tribe, as are the RVs, but there’s no connection.

Fourteen hundred souls, and as often is the case: a lot of town for so few people. That’s because it served the farmers as well. So let’s take a stroll around downtown.

The neutron bomb hit while everyone’s car was home in the garage:


We all know what this was. Right?

Will there come a time when people don’t read that facade and know just what it was?

Old picture, from Cinema Treasures, uploaded by RickyRialto:

The theater closed in 1950, fifteen years after it opened. It was a retail for a while. Now it’s this.

Someone made the decision to remove the exterior decorations, because . . . .

Well, I can’t think of an explanation, but it’s what you’d expect from someone who’d buckaroo a fine old facade like this.

It’s as if some experts said “Glass will not be available after the year 2000,” and people bricked up because they didn’t think they could get replacement.

It's as if the building was at its best the day it opened, and the years have whittled its dignity down ever since.

Stripped down at the time of its construction. I think. It never had an ornate facade.

The window gives it away.

Always a cafe? I think so.

The windows were painted over so no one had to blink when the sun hit the room wrong. Paint it over! There’s at least 20 minutes of blinking, every day!

One of those buildings whose history is not only obscure and difficult to ascertain . . .

. . . but you really don’t care.

Ah. There it is: the Roman Embassy.

We’ve seen so many repurposed banks with altered windows, it’s nice to see what it was from the start.

And we know what this was, right?

The corner location, the BIG IMPORTANT COLUMN, angled entrance: it’s always a bank. But they’re usually two floors.

You never see this. It’s usually a sign hanging off the facade.

Read that strip of brick on the right - a leftover from the now-gone building, or someone just patching up after a fire or demolition, with no regard to continuity?

If it’s a clinic, maybe everything upstairs is clean and modern and tastefully lit. No windows, for privacy.

But that angled cut. Hmm.

The Dreaded Angled Wood of the 70s and early 80s.

The storefront on the bottom left proceeded the Dreaded Angle Wood; you can tell by the brick, which has the light hues of the late 50s / 60s.

I don’t think the ground floor was a rehab. Look at the brickwork: I think this was done at the same time. Late 20s.

It was beautiful. Still is.

The Baxter Block, 1988:

Not overburdened by commerce today. They couldn’t have predicted the little circle hanging on the wall, aimed at the heavens, pulling down the stories.

That was Winnebago. I wish them well. Take a stroll if you'd like to see more for yourself.