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Atlantic City Hall

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1916, J. P. Guth. Southwest corner of Walnut and 4th streets

From some distance one might suppose that this two-story brick building was a factory, or at least some type of commercial building. Close up, one discovers that its inlaid stone nameplate declares it to be City Hall. The one other element that signals its public purpose is its square corner tower. The base of the tower as it proceeds upward is realized only by walls that project a few inches from the walls of the building itself, but this reticent treatment stops when the tower emerges above the surrounding parapets. How would one explain it? Perhaps it resulted from an urge for the Gothic felt by a Prairie architect. The tower's most startling features are the four corner finials that project at right angles from the building. A thin streamer ornament in cast stone leads up to a cardboard-thin roof atop each finial. Between the finials, the tower's parapet exhibits a curved gable projection. Unfortunately, many of the windows have been filled in, so the building's pattern of fenestration is no longer as apparent as it should be.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Atlantic City Hall", [Atlantic, 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, 457-457.

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