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Burkley House (Ardenia)

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Ardenia
c. 1926. 925 E. Kirkwood Ave.

Though decidedly large in scale, and perhaps conceived as a serious work of architecture, Ardenia should still be considered as another of Iowa's folk follies. The hotel owner, Albert Burkley, took a mildly Italianate house of 1855 and enclosed it within the towering brick walls of a medieval castle. Thin towers together with adjacent crenellated parapets look down on brick walls articulated by narrow windows and various diamond-shaped and rectangular inlaid patterns. At the south side of the building Burkley decided for some reason to go off in a different direction, and he added a wing that is in the respectable Colonial Revival style, not medieval. Currently, the heavy overgrown vegetation around the building enhances the house, for the structure appears from a distance as a medieval ruin.

Writing Credits

Author: 
David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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