This isn’t the loveliest shot, but it shows what happens to small towns that get in the way.

Almost 2,000 souls - twice what it had in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. So keep in mind this downtown was for a town of a thousand - plus, of course, all the farmers.

I’m thinking another feed store came to town and did a better job.

“I’d buy that for a New York dollar”

What a mystifying structure. The new pick was meant to tie it all together, perhaps, but it looks as if the indented portion wasn’t the same height as the section on the right.

The rest of the building:

Garage? Dealership?


Buckaroo treatment and the absolute wrong brick took away the building’s sense of composition and self-possession.

The more I look at this, the odder it gets. That big blank spot - of course, it had a sign, but they couldn’t be sure it always would. The size of the ground floor compared to the second and third stories.

1873! The population was about 800 people.

Thin windows for ventilation, thin buildings because a fellow’s ability to speculate on real estate was constrained by demand.

I love the boom-town sense you get from an abundance of two-story brick buildings downtown, jostling for business.

That’s a fantastically exuberant building, and poorly served by its pedestrian ground floor overhaul.

At the time, of course, they thought they were doing the street a favor.

Hard times have worn this old fellow down, but he still maintains traces of a proud, prosperous past.

Were those doors on the second floor? Tiny balconies, intended for ventilation?


“Just leave the plans behind when you leave town, Mr. Architect. And thank you.”

“Why? Do you intend to reuse them?”

“It would be within my right.”

“A suggestion, then. Reduce the height by seven inches. It will make all the difference in the world.”

When your twin brother goes on a Caribbean vacation and comes back all full of ideas



Nothing will grow here for a long time. These empty sockets are rarely filled.

Another victim of the plague of cheap modern windows:


Yet it has a hotel vibe, somehow. Well, you often find “house” applied to hotels; perhaps it was traveling men of business.

When the sunlight hits it from behind you realize it’s dead


This, shall we say, is not the height of heritage preservation. Boards above the door and a cutesy bay window for that Cape-Cod effect everyone in Iowa loved so much.