Architectural Tour of Clinton


Clinton, Iowa 52732, United States

Created By: Matt Parbs


900 and 1000 BLOCK OF SOUTH 4TH STREETApproximately one and one-half blocks of the west side of South 4th Street (from addresses 914 through 1020) comprise a continuous frontage of architecturally significant commercial buildings. All except one (160b), built in 1912, pre-date the 1900's. The east side of the street is an unfortunate intrusion with no continuity or integrity. Gas stations, several residential structures, and a pornography shop comprise this frontage. However, the west side of the street, north from 11th Avenue South for about one and on-half blocks, has two- and three-story structures that front on the street and create a long, unified wall of brick, commercial buildings. Except for some ground-floor storefront alterations, the buildings retain considerable integrity of historic architecture. This "preservation" is due to neglect rather than to a conscious effort to retain authenticity. This west-side frontage of the street serves as a neighborhood convenience cent for the adjacent neighborhood, while the east side of the street mainly serves the non-resident motorists on highways 67 and 30 that route on South 4th Street here. The 900 and 1000 blocks of South 4th Street are indicated on Map No. 4 and are identified as 160a through 160h. Descriptions follow:a) Smith Brothers' General Store, 1014-1020 South 4th Street; c. 1874 and c. 1885.This assemblage of four storefronts converted into one building for one occupancy is unique from several aspects; the common use of brick; similar architectural features and details; and, more importantly, the integrity of the complex, by way of the turn-of-the -century appearance. There is little in the way of modernization to detract from the historic, visual aspects of the buildings(s). The building style may be best described as commercial vernacular.The occupant of the building, Smith Brothers' General Store, is itself a unique, old-time operation. The traditional methods of display and merchandising, as well as the building exterior, combine to create a wide appeal for this "old-fashioned" general store.b) Red Shield Store. 1010-1012 South 4th Street; 1912.A large, three -story commercial brick building, it has two colors of face brick on the front façade. The ground-floor storefront has been altered. A tin cornice on the street façade and a two-story bay window above the alley are the major architectural features of interest.c) Seaman Block, 1004-1008 South 4th Street; c. 1885.The building is handsome with the simple but exquisite use of warm, red brick. Although of Italianate Style influence, the building design is probably better described as commercial vernacular. The ground-floor storefronts have been altered. Cast-iron columns and high store windows have been replaced with brick, of compatible color and pattern, to create new storefronts. The simplicity and directness of the design creates a tasteful and seemingly modern street façade for the building.d) Seaman Building (Calnan Hardware), 1002 South 4th Street; c. 1885.The front façade of the building has an upper story of brick with stone string course, a cornice formed by corbeled brick, and a pair of two-sided bay windows. Two slender, cast-iron columns, with Corinthian capitals, flank the entry steps and doorway. The building is of eclectic design influence and has an interesting composition of architectural features, such as the two-sided bays. In addition, the building is an excellent example of period commercial architecture, with considerable integrity of original construction and appearance retained.e) S. C. Seaman Groceries (Easy Wash Laundromat), 1000 South 4th Street; 1874.A brick building of simplified Italianate Style, the structure has considerable historic integrity. The ground-floor storefront is of cast iron and wood. The clerestory portion of the storefront windows has been altered by the addition of panels and louvers.f) Pierson Block, 920-926 South 4th Street; 1888The tin cornice is a dominating and spectacular architectural feature of the building. With cornice, handsome brickwork, and remodeled but compatible store-fronts, the building is an excellent Clinton example of a large, Victorian-era commercial building of Italianate Style influence.g) R. Barton Building (Earl Bachelder Property/Fourth Street Café), 916-918 South 4th Street; 1875. Of Italianate Style influence, the building has a handsome upper-story façade that features extensive use of brick with segmented arches and cornice-like parapet. The ground-floor storefront has been drastically altered by the addition of stone veneer, canopy, and modern aluminum windows. The upper stories of the north, 22-foot frontage have had the windows replaced with in-fill panels and new windows.h) Haywood and Son's Bank (Lucille Hawk Property), 914 South 4th Street; The Italianate Style building once housed a bank. Although the upper story of the front façade, with its two contrasting colors of face brick is generally intact, the windows and ground-floor storefront have been drastically altered with new siding and aluminum with the creation of four apartment units.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Architectural Tour of Clinton


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