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Bank Building

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c. 1917, attrib. The Lytle Company. 246 Main St.
  • Bank Building (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

The Beaux-Arts Classical concept of design is effectively realized in this small corner building. This bank is one of the most inventive interpretations of the Beaux-Arts to be found in Iowa. As with almost all small-town banks, this one is essentially a rectangular box that makes its statement by its fenestration and through its varied parapet. The design has the feeling of the delicate Renaissance forms one associates with northern Italy in the early fifteenth century. But when one examines how pilasters, the building's base, its entablature, cornice, and parapet have been handled, it is apparent that the building has little to do with a revival of early Renaissance architecture. The entablature, for example, with its pattern of tri-glyphs, seems to take us back to Greece, not Florence, and there is a suggestion of crenellation above the parapet, which seems (at least at first glance) to be medieval, rather than classical. If this building was conceived of as a Beaux-Arts answer to the upstart modernism of the Prairie school, it certainly succeeded in its aim.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Bank Building", [Moville, 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, 486-487.

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