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Delaware County Courthouse

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1894–1895, Charles E. Bell. E. Main between S. Tampa and S. Brewer streets

The usual battle occurred in Delaware County pertaining to the location of the county seat. It wasn't until 1880 that the courthouse was finally situated in Manchester, and it was some 15 years later that a permanent building was erected. The building was designed by the Council Bluffs architect Charles E. Bell, who advertised “School Houses and Courthouses a Specialty.” For his design of this red brick, stone-trimmed building, Bell brought together two fashionable images of the 1880s and 1890s, the Richardsonian Romanesque and the French Châteauesque. Essentially the upper portions of the building—the steeply pitched roof, wall dormers, corner pavilions, and the main tower—look to the Châteauesque; the body of the building below, with its deep sandstone arch, is Richardsonian Romanesque.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Delaware County Courthouse", [Manchester, 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, 119-119.

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