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United States Post Office Building (now Public Library)

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now Public Library
1937, Louis A. Simon and Neal Melick. Corner of Park Ave. and Commercial St.

In style this building is PWA Moderne in one of its severe guises. The architects have set a two-story volume upon a rusticated Kasota stone base. The building's central portico piers are close to the surface and continue the adjoining wall plane. A similar emphasis on flat surfaces occurs in the attic above the portico where the classical vocabulary has been reduced to the simplest of geometric forms. In the building's recent conversion to a library, new metal windows have been placed so that they project slightly beyond the adjoining stone walls, destroying to a considerable degree the classical intent of the original design. Within the building and still intact are two 1940 murals, Exposition and Holiday by Edgar Britton, who was in his younger years a student of Grant Wood. These murals were part of the WPA arts project carried out during the depression.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "United States Post Office Building (now Public Library)", [Waterloo, 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, 445-445.

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