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William Fort House

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1890. 607 Main St.
  • William Fort House (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

If one knows what one is about, and then proceeds to break most of the rules, it is possible to create wondrous designs, and the design of this house is such an example. The sharply pitched roofs of this two-and-a-half-story house, together with the narrow dormers with hipped roofs, suggest the French Châteauesque, while much of its detailing comes from the Colonial Revival. The “wild” elements of the design are found in the righthand roof of the front gable, which sweeps down to the roof of the entrance porch; in the composition of the stubby Ionic Columns, with their high decorated impost blocks; and even in a heart-shaped window (and this is only the beginning of its assortment of architectural oddities). This house is certainly one of Iowa's domestic monuments.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "William Fort House", [Marshalltown, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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