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Robert Armstrong House

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1932, Bruce McKay. 370 34th St. S.E.
  • Robert Armstrong House (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

The Robert Armstrong house has often been cited as an example of Iowa's own regional version of the Colonial Revival style. It was modeled after the Eugene Doe house (1860) in Waubek, a house that carried on the very late Federal tradition. The architect, Bruce McKay, wrote of his intent, “As to the house, a century from now, when the last of Iowa's old stone houses have crumbled to ruin, posterity will still have one authentic copy of the early Iowa houses.” 8 Both the Doe and Armstrong houses are sheathed in stone, both have gable roofs, and both exhibit a balanced arrangement of double-hung windows. However, the Armstrong house reads as a characteristic 1930s version of the Colonial, horizontal, low to the ground, and accompanied by an exterior living porch, large windows on the ground floor, and wide bay windows. The painter Grant Wood is said to have “assisted” in the design of the house, though his specific contributions are not fully known. 9


Joan Liffring-Zug, “The Armstrong House,” 35.

Liffring-Zug, “Armstrong House,” 34.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Robert Armstrong House", [Cedar Rapids, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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