Architectural Tour of Clinton


Clinton, Iowa 52732, United States

Created By: Matt Parbs


MAIN AVENUEMain Avenue, east of North 3rd Street, is the shopping and commercial center for the Lyons area. It once was the major downtown street for the town of Lyons but now fills a neighborhood convenience/service function. A one and one-half block frontage of Main Avenue, east of Roosevelt Street, is the heart of the historic downtown and is of architectural significance. The buildings are two stories high except for several one-and three-story buildings; all front directly on the public right-of-way. The Main Avenue historic district limit on the west is the public square at Roosevelt Street; and the district extends east to include about a one and one-half block frontage on the north side of Main Avenue. Some of the more important old buildings along the avenue, including the three-story Gage Building, built in 1861, are within this short frontage.On the whole, the district retains enough historic buildings and integrity to create a well-defined, pleasant shopping district that has importance as an example of nineteenth-century commercial architecture. Buildings in the district are identified as numbers 163a through 163g and appear on Map No. 4. Descriptions follow:a) Silver Dollar Tavern, 76 Main Avenue; c. 1865.This is a two-story commercial building of brick with cornice and window caps. The ground-floor store-front has been rebuilt and clad with stone veneer. The building, of Italianate Style, is a good Clinton example of nineteenth-century commercial construction and design. b) Reter Building (Mar Gee Plastics), 80 Main Avenue; c. 1874.Similar in appearance and detailing to the 75-59 Main Avenue building across the street, this Italianate Style building uses two colors of brick to accent the corbelled and relief patterns of the brickwork. The ground-floor storefront has been rebuilt in a fashion of "historicism".c) Miller and Schumm (Helen's Tap Tavern), 84 Main Avenue; c. 1874.Similar to 80 Main Avenue next door, this 26-foot wide store makes use of red and cream-colored brick to emphasize the projecting and intricate brickwork on the front façade. Although maintenance is lacking, the building seemingly retains its historic features. d) J. P. Gage Union Hall (Gage Building/E. Z. Does It/Davis Studio), 86-88 Main Avenue; 1861.A large, three-story commercial structure of painted brick, the building has corbeled brick under the projecting cornice on the front façade. The J. P. Gage Union Hall is an excellent example of early Italianate Style. It is the highest and most visually important building along the Main Avenue commercial frontage; and, except for the ground-floor storefronts, it has historic integrity with retention of most of its significant architectural components. e) William H. Gode (Pete Glass Co.), 90 Main Avenue; 1870.A twenty-two foot wide and two-story high brick commercial building. It has a small cornice with a series of small arches formed by corbeled brick under the cornice. The ground-floor storefront has been altered. The eclectic building design exhibits influences of Italian Romanesque Style. The building is of harmonious design and consistent material with the J. P. Gage Union Hall next door.f) Dreesen Building (Jack Soesbe Barber Shop), 92 Main Avenue; c. 1870.The front façade has a "false" front with high parapet, a cornice with brackets, and siding which appears to be salvaged and applied from another building. The building was remodeled, does not detract seriously from the historic integrity of the building. The major architectural significance of this structure is the use of Renaissance Revival Style and its interpretation in fame construction for a commercial building. This contrasts with the other, old, commercial structures of masonry construction in the Main Avenue district.g) 1st Nation Bank of Lyons (Lyons Masonic Tenple), 94 Main Avenue; 1907.This former bank building has brick party walls with cut and dressed limestone on the front façade. The windows of the front façade have been altered with re-placement by glass block and corrugated metal siding between the ground floor and upper-story windows, The design of the bank exterior is very eclectic with strong influences from the Second Renaissance and Classical Revival Styles which were popular in the early twentieth century in America.

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


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to