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In the center of the small town of Castalia, on the south side of US 52, is the former Castalia Savings Bank building (c. 1892). This tiny building, now used as the post office, is one of the gems of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in Iowa. Its facade—just 20 feet wide—is strikingly divided into horizontal bands, the bottom one in light-colored limestone. This same limestone, which contrasts sharply with the brick of the building, is also used for the capitals and impost blocks of the pair of columns at the entrance, for the capital of the single pilaster which is carried around the corner, and for the flat cornice of the parapeted roof. The entrance with its great arch is brought out from the front of the building and has its own bracketed roof. The short, stubby columns of the entrance are of polished granite. The vigor of this small building reminds one of the work of Frank Furness of Philadelphia.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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