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Cast your vote:


A Plebiscite

A post office and federal office building is often the most prominent building in any community. It’s always been assumed that Agincourt would build one some time between 1900 and the 1920s. The office of Supervising Architect of the Treasury was responsible all these projects and during those years the office was run by James Knox Taylor, Oscar Wenderoth, and James A. Wetmore any one of them a huge improvement over the patronage-ridden years before 1900. There would have been some sort of facility before then, though it could easily have been rented space.

The easiest way to handle this, it seems to me, is to choose one of the several designs that came out of the S.A.T. office and were built multiple times. The former post office in Moorhead (that many of you will recall is now the Rourke Art Museum) in a good example: Drive to Livingston, Montana and you’ll find its near twin. So, I’ve surveyed Iowa’s post offices for those years, 1900-1920, and narrowed the field to these six examples (the eight cards above).

I have my favorites but any one of these can be photoshopped to work on the 140-foot by 150-foot site, situated next to the 1895 Richardsonian Romanesque opera house and across the street from the similarly Richardsonian county courthouse. So, I’m posting these here and on FaceBook for some outside opinion.

Cast your vote for one of these six (or nominate your own suggestion):

  • Clarinda
  • Creston
  • Marshalltown
  • Mason City
  • Oskaloosa
  • Webster City

Don’t worry about entrance location—corner, short side, long side—they can all be made to work.



  1. Kim Meldahl says:

    I like the Mason City one. Very substantial.

  2. Larry Schwartz says:

    I like the corner entry, so I’ll go for Webster City or Clarinda.

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