You are here

Kahl Building / Capitol Theater

-A A +A
1919–1920, Arthur Ebeling / Rapp and Rapp. 326 W. 3rd St., northeast corner of Ripley Ave.

The size and height of the Kahl Building indicate how aggressively the community was trying to create the aura of a big-city downtown. The ten-story building was delicately clad in white terracotta over a steel frame. The design was inspired by classical architecture, but its lightness hints at the Gothic or the Hispanic Plateresque. The building houses a restaurant in the basement, a 2,400-seat theater, and additional space for offices. The theater, designed by the well-known Chicago-based theater specialists Cornelius W. Rapp and George L. Rapp, is luxuriously classical, including the landscape murals within the three half-bays. (These murals were restored in 1968.) Missing from the theater's entrance is its original curved roof marquee with incandescent lights and its five-story vertical sign.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Kahl Building / Capitol Theater", [Davenport, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Iowa, David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 70-70.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.