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Ellsworth-Porter House

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1867. 401 W. Broadway
  • Ellsworth-Porter House (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

A tall, thin central tower dominates this good-sized brick Italian villa. A later Queen Anne porch with an open round tower pavilion has been added, but the unique glory of the whole composition are the gardens and the stoneencrusted wall facing the street. The wall, which surrounds three sides of the garden, was built by the “collector-naturalist-artist” Adelbert Field Porter. An avid collector of almost everything, Porter encrusted the wall with agate, jasper, rose quartz, onyx, amethyst, petrified wood, and crystal. One will discover small pools, waterfalls, and hidden gardens enclosed by the walls and plantings. The house is now owned by the Winneshiek County Historical Society. It is open on weekends during the summer months.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Ellsworth-Porter House", [Decorah, 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, 378-378.

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