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Lakota owns one of Iowa's key monuments of the Streamline Moderne of the 1930s. This is its city hall (1940), designed by Thorwald Thorson, a Forest City architect who produced a number of buildings sponsored by the WPA and PWA during that decade. The Lakota City Hall could easily be read as simply a good-sized single-family residence in the Streamline mode. Its front, with a circular bay enclosed by glass brick to the side; its central entrance sheltered by a thin, cantilevered roof; and its fenestration could easily match other houses built throughout the country. The architect has hinted at its more public nature by including a simplified row of dentils and horizontal and vertical grooved patterns. The sides of the building are a little less domestic than the front, but they still appear part of a dwelling. This quality is enhanced by the ample wooded grounds within which the building is situated. The city hall is to be found at the northeast corner of Third and Smith streets.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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