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Morning Sun City Hall and Library

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1937, James Troup, engineer. Southwest corner of Main and Division streets
  • Morning Sun City Hall and Library (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

The Morning Sun City Hall and Library building is unusual for depression-era public designs in Iowa, although not for other areas of the country. The precedent for this design is the early nineteenth-century English Regency and its offshoot, the American Federal style. What appealed to clients, the public, and architects about these styles derived from classical architecture was that, reduced to basic geometric volumes and simple, often un-decorated surfaces, the buildings seemed somewhat modern, as well as traditional. Also, the mode conveyed a sense of urban sophistication, of high fashion.

The combined city hall and library at Morning Sun (what an enjoyable name for a town) is a brick structure on a raised basement, the high point being a four-story square entrance tower topped by a low rectilinear block containing four clock faces. The tower is defined by a linear stone edge at each corner, and the stone block containing the clock faces has fluted pilasters at the corners and a low hipped roof. The two windows on each side of the tower are coupled vertically with the windows of the raised basement. The upper windows have stone lintels with keystones projecting through them.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Morning Sun City Hall and Library", [Morning Sun, 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, 127-127.

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