Monday, October 17, 2011

Drowning my sorrows in Romanesque

This is the day after the day upon which the pristine brick facade of the old Storie building on the west side of the square received, for inexplicable reasons, a coat of school bus-yellow paint. I'm sure the owners just wanted to brighten the place up, draw a little attention to their business. Oh my. But I'm not going to say a thing, or take a picture. This is the same town where the Masons added a machine-shed roof to their beautiful old temple, remember.

Instead, I'm going to drown my sorrows in the Richardson Romanesque wonders of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Red Oak --- one of Iowa's best courthouses in a town that knows how to appreciate its old buildings, photographed Friday.

One of the most strongly vertical buildings of its age and type in the state (the clock tower soars seven stories), it was designed by Milwaukee architect Henry C. Koch and built during 1890-91.

The raised basement and the first floor are sheathed in Missouri limestone. The rest is built of pressed brick with terracotta details.

And the roof is a kind of fantasy land with projections and turrets and peaks in various styles flying around like something from a Harry Potter film.

It's a wonderful building, and isn't it great that Red Oak and Montgomery County have taken such good care of it?

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