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School Auditorium and Gymnasium

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1941, Thorwald Thorson. Southeast corner of Main and Park streets
  • School Auditorium and Gymnasium (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

The PWA Moderne school auditorium and gymnasium is one of the more elaborate ones to be constructed in Iowa at the end of the depression. As with several other WPA buildings designed by Thorwald Thorson in the thirties, here he utilized exposed reinforced concrete. The hooped roof of the auditorium/gym is reflected in the semi-circular ends of the building. The architect repeated this curve in decorative indented lines that spring from the tops of the corner pilasters and center on a vertical plane bearing a cast concrete relief sculpture of the head of a Viking. The lower walls of the building have been accentuated by indented horizontal lines, contrasted by vertical lines in the entrance wing. The side walls of the building have a repeated pattern of pilasters and intervening curved buttresses that taper in at the bottom. The upper northwest corner of the building bursts forth with a cast concrete high-relief figure of a basketball player.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "School Auditorium and Gymnasium", [Ventura, 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, 439-439.

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