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Round Barn

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1916. US 65/20, 2.5 miles north of Iowa Falls, on north side of highway

The idea of suspending the roof of a building by cables hung from a central mast resulted in a structural form that has cropped up (often accompanied by pretentious manifestoes) within the history of modern architecture from the 1920s to the present. Here in this barn and silo, such a structure is presented with directness and great simplicity. A silo drum, topped by a spired roof, is situated in the center of a single-story circular barn. Cables extend from the silo and support the barn roof, so that no interior columns are needed. The walls of this barn and its silo are of hollow terracotta tile; the roof of the barn itself is flat, covered with rolled asphalt roofing. There are three other similar barns within the state, but this is the only one with a flat roof and walls of terracotta tile.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Round Barn", [Iowa Falls, 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, 406-406.

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