Woodbury County Courthouse photos

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Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4400
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Woodbury County Courthouse photos

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Last edited by Paul Ringstrom on Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10569
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Too bad this magnificent building is in one of those out-of-the-way places that make it hard to include on FLWBC tours. It and the nearby Nebraska State Capitol Building in Lincoln are two of the finest government buildings in the country.

An episode of "48 Hours" a few years ago aired a trial held in the building. It photographs very well.

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4400
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

The architect, William Steele, was an associate of Louis Sullivan.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Paul, Steele was associated with the design, because he was local, but the principal firm was Purcell & Elmslie.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Thirty-one pages in Brooks, "Prairie School Architecture, studies from the Western Architect (1975, 1983) are devoted to the building. I will display the first and last pages of the uncredited opening essay, today.

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

For a look at another building by William L. Steele, check out the Charles Mix County Court House at 400 East Main St., Lake Andes, SD (1918), photos in The Prairie School Traveler. Clearly G. G. Elmslie had a more profound effect on Steele than Sullivan.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Here are the pages I mentioned above.


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Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4400
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Roderick Grant wrote:For a look at another building by William L. Steele, check out the Charles Mix County Court House at 400 East Main St., Lake Andes, SD (1918), photos in The Prairie School Traveler. Clearly G. G. Elmslie had a more profound effect on Steele than Sullivan.
As you know Sullivan was a drunk and Elmslie did most of the work.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4400
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

My wife and I toured the Woodbury County Courthouse on 5/5/18 and attended the Centennial dinner.

If you are an architecture fan you MUST go out of your way to see this building!

Ianelli did the sculptures, Elmslie designed the terra cotta (which was produced by American Terra Cotta & Ceramic Co. in Terra Cotta, IL north of Crystal Lake) and modeled by the renowned modeler, Kristian Schneider. They also made TECO pottery. Sullivan worked with the same company.

The building needs about $12M in restoration and is scheduled to get it over the next five or six years.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

These days, $12M doesn't seem all that much, especially for one of the most overlooked masterpieces of American architecture.

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4400
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Re: Woodbury County Courthouse starts restoration

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
Posts: 20186
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Woodbury County Courthouse photos

Post by SDR »

From H Allen Brooks, "The Prairie School" (© 1972, The University of Toronto Press):

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The last-mentioned work in the text above is a favorite of mine; Brooks rightly credits its genesis to Wright's Unity Temple:

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"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10569
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Woodbury County Courthouse photos

Post by Roderick Grant »

The bank in Winona is a great building. Unfortunately, an addition was made to the NE side of the original building, judging by the style, probably in the 1960s, and the NE wall was largely obliterated to make the connection. The exterior is intact, and the interior is largely original, but for that missing wall. It is a grand and elegant masterpiece.

Although Sullivan's bank in Owatonna gets more attention and a book of its own, the P&E bank is worthy of a book itself.

SDR
Posts: 20186
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Woodbury County Courthouse photos

Post by SDR »

Lest some readers mistake you, you're referring to Sullivan's Winona bank, not Purcell's---in your first paragraph ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants ... Minnesota)

For my money, followers found a more useful example in Wright than in Sullivan. How many of them echoed the latter in their work, compared to the former ? I prefer Purcell & Feick's design for Winona---from what can be seen in sketch and models---to Sullivan's.

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10569
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Woodbury County Courthouse photos

Post by Roderick Grant »

Oops! You are correct. Mea culpa.

Nevertheless, it is a building that deserves more attention than it has received.

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