Random Notes - A Blog
30 August 2006
Phil Adams, a fellow Traveler, sends a nice collection of images of Walter Burley Griffin’s Stinson Memorial Library in Anna, Illinois, and an interior view of Wright’s remodeling of the Dana Memorial Library in Springfield. He promises further photos from his travels around the Midwest. Thank you, Phil!
27 August 2006
Information about two of these buildings is known to me. The Grand Rapids pavilion was part of Ramona Park, an amusement park built by a streetcar line, and was demolished in the 1950s. Lyons, Iowa is now part of Clinton, and the Iowa State Savings Bank, the work of local architect Harry Harbeck, still stands there. I have no information about the Ashland and Tigerton buildings; if you do, please let me know!
9 August 2006
So this means that the traveler may be surprised by the actual building sitting at an address listed in these pages. Your humble correspondent has recently had noteworthy experiences, both pleasantly surprising and not so surprising, that make this point.
Sidney, Iowa, is listed as the home, at 716 Illinois Street, of the Fremont County Savings Bank. It’s said to be a work of The Lytle Company, a Sioux City, Iowa, firm known for bank designs in a wide variety of architectural styles. Pulling up on the west side of Illinois Street in Sidney, the traveler is faced with not one but two bank buildings in the space of one block. Commerical buildings often lack street numbers, so it’s difficult to know which is the Lytle building in question.
As it happens, the building on the left, now home to First Community Bank, is located at 716 Illinois Street. The one that seemingly bears greater PS hallmarks is at 820 Illinois Street, and now occupied by a café. The writeup given in Gebhard & Mansheim’s “Buildings of Iowa” clearly describes the building at 820, so I have changed the address in my list.
A more intriguing find is at 108 West Ninth Street in Atlantic, Iowa, where the Whitmare House stands in obvious emulation of Frank Lloyd Wright.
I know no details of the history of this house or its designer, but he was clearly familiar with Wright’s “A Fireproof House for $5000”. There are no comparable houses in the region; the Stockman House in Mason City is the closest built example. If nothing else, the Atlantic house’s existence may show the reach of the April 1907 issue of Ladies Home Journal, in which Wright’s house design appeared.
3 August 2006
As always, I welcome your comments about this site or any Prairie School building.
John A. Panning, Lake City, Iowa
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