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Acme Building

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1923–1924. South corner of 3rd Ave. S.W. and 2nd St. S.W.

An unpretentious single-story brick commercial building has acquired a high degree of sophistication through the articulation of its brick surfaces, and above all through the use of colorful glazed terracotta. The walls have been divided into panels by narrow brick pilasters. Below the parapet the designer has created horizontal, slightly recessed panels, their interiors composed of bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. Splayed across the facade, just above the pilasters, is a brightly colored terracotta cartouche. The lower portion of this cartouche acts as a delicate Ionic capitol for the pilaster; the upper design centers on an open seashell with a gold crown within it. The colors of the glazed terracotta are bright blue, gold, and white. It is worthwhile to compare this use of terracotta to that of Sullivan in the adjacent bank building.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


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

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