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Land and Loan Office (The Adams Building)

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The Adams Building
1913, Louis H. Sullivan. Northwest corner of E. State and Moore streets
  • Point Barrow Refuge Station (Cape Smythe Whaling and Trading Station) (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

The Adams Building is one of the smallest of Sullivan's late designs for midwestern financial institutions. Sullivan took a rectangular brick box and cut deeply into it for the usual side window and for the entrance on the narrow front of the building. The horizontality of the side window wall was enhanced by the architect's trademark projecting brick sill, terminated on each end by terracotta squares. Within the opening are eight piers with terracotta capitals. The windows were divided above by units of opaque colored glass and below by pairs of opening casement windows. The most unusual feature of the design (now regrettably changed) was the entrance. Two screens of brick projected from each side, creating what Sullivan labeled a “loggia”; the actual entrance vestibule was to the side. Other subtleties of the design included the basketweave pattern of brick and terracotta squares indicating the entablature and the slight but effectively pulled-out foundation of the building.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Land and Loan Office (The Adams Building)", [Algona, 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, 350-351.

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