Kleinschmidt Architectural History

John Kleinschmidt was a professor of French at Grinnell College with a passion for local history. This collection features many of the documents and photographs that he compiled about the history of both the Grinnell College campus and the greater Grinnell community.

Photograph of the city water system located at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Main Street. It was built in 1894 of brick. The cistern is visible in the foreground; the pump house is in the background. The standpipe was half masonry with a balcony on the top and a ladder to reach balcony alongside the pipe. That balcony was the vantage point for photography, most notably a double panoramic view of Grinnell.

Photograph of the Morrison & McIntosh glove factory located at 3rd and RR & Broad Street. Built in 1895, it was later owned by DeLong Sportswear and eventually was purchased and renovated by Grinnell College.

Photograph of the house at 418 East Street. Construction date is unknown, but it is listed in the 1878 City Directory, It was owned by Samuel A. Cravath, editor of Grinnell Herald, the older and more prestigious of the two newspapers in town (the other being the Grinnell Register). In 1916, the Herald office was built (813 5th Avenue). That same year, the Register built a new building (937 Broad Street). In 1936, the papers merged into the Grinnell Herald-Register. The top floor of this building was an apartment for the editor of the Register. Later on, John Parish (doctor) had his office in the first floor. The tower was later removed.

Photograph of the house at 436 East Street built in the 1860s for Samuel F. Cooper, a banker, real estate broker, and politician. The house sat on 40 acres well back from East Street. The porte cochere was one of the few in town. The house was later owned by Frank Almy, a professor of physics at Grinnell College. The house was burned down by design in 1978. This photograph was taken in the 1920s.

The house was originally built in 1876. It was owned by Charles R. Morse a grain merchant, banker, and entrepreneur. The Italianate house eventually had six porches, most of which were later removed. The house was demolished to accommodate construction of town homes for the Mayflower Community. The address was given at various times as 531 Park, 533 Park, and 918 First Ave., .

Photograph of the house at the NW corner of 5th Ave. & Park St. The brick house was probably built in the late 1850s by H. G. Little. The house was later purchased by a group of Grinnell College trustees to serve as the college president's home. H.G. Little built his new home at 1127 Park Street. That house is no longer standing.

Photograph of the house at 6th Avenue and Broad Street, built sometime before 1884. It was originally owned by George Magoun, the first president of Iowa (Grinnell) College. The house faced east onto Broad Street. A house on this site is listed in the 1878 City Directory. The house was purchased by a Spaulding brother who gave it to a moving company. The moving company split the house in half. The back portion was moved to 717 West Street and the front portion to 1130 Summer Street. The horse visible in the image is tethered on Broad Street, north of present Smith Funeral Home. The site is now (2013) occupied by Pizza Hut.

Photographs of the house just west of the northwest corner of 6th and West St. The City Directory of 1878 has Mrs. A.J. Hamlin at this address. She is also listed in the 1894-95 City Directory. Changes to the original building included cutting off the SE corner bay window and making a picture window, adding a wraparound veranda with pediment and enclosing the former bay window. The roof was raised and peaked to provide an attic with window. One photo (B) is early, before the changes, and the other (A) shows the later modifications.

Photograph of Child's Livery & Feed Stable, located at 716 4th Avenue. The brick building was constructed in 1880.

Photograph of the destruction to the houses at 7th Avenue and Broad Street following the cyclone of 1882. The photograph is looking west. The house owned by Mr. Craver is in the foreground. Mr. Craver and the housekeeper were alone in the house, went to basement when cyclone approached, and were not hurt. Craver's wife and children were out of town. Craver left the ruin for two years and eventually built a new house at the west end of town. The house owned by L.C. Phelps is in the background. The cyclone took the roof and east wall of the house. That house is still standing.

Copy of a photograph of the Bijou Theater located at 800 4th Avenue. Owned by the Mart family who also built the Strand Theater. The photograph was taken prior to 1914.

Photograph of the backyard of the Ross residence at 817 7th Avenue, taken in the early 1900s. This is a "carnivalesque", made of wooden slats held erect by guide wires on a concrete slab, where one would ride a bicycle around the inner perimeter. It was built by either R. (Richard?) C. Ross or his son. Visible in the back is a corner of the house at 1206 Broad Street. The L.C. Phelps house is in the right center background (address 1203/1205 Broad Street). The boy riding the bicycle may be young Ross as the structure was in his backyard. The Ross family ran a shoe store and owned the Grinnell Stone Company at 615-631 State Street which manufactured rockfaced blocks. They made the red-tinted block used for the house at 1114 Broad, 817 7th Avenue, and the house at 1310 Main Street. There are only two houses in Grinnell made of that material. The blocks never caught on for entire houses; the Ross family turned to foundational blocks.

Photograph of the house at 817 East Street. The frame house was built about 1895

Photograph of Street Address: 827 Broad Street businesses before the 1889 fire. A tailor shop was located at 825 Broad, and a two-storey confectionary at 831 Broad St. A delivery wagon for Preston & Proctor Groceries is visible at the far right of Johnson & Wadsworth Drug Store. Johnson was a prominent Grinnell merchant., Street Address: 827 Broad Street businesses before the 1889 fire. A tailor shop was located at 825 Broad, and a two-storey confectionary at 831 Broad St. A delivery wagon for Preston & Proctor Groceries is visible at the far right of Johnson & Wadsworth Drug Store. Johnson was a prominent Grinnell merchant.

Photograph of the Preston Opera House (831 Main Street) built in 1878. The original brick building was modified many times eventually becoming a two-story structure. The photograph was taken looking north from Commercial St. and shows Company K on its way to the Spanish-American War. This company used the third floor of the Opera House for an armory. The Fair (five-and-dime) and the New York Chop House (see awning) are visible.

Photograph of the house at 834 Park Street, built in 1883 and owned by George M. Christian. Christian also built Chapin House and owned a number of other hotels. The Grinnell Herald published an article on the house in the January 6, 1885 issue. The house is described on page three, and continued on page one. Other houses are in the Herald article: The Beyer House at 809 High Street, the Craver House at 917 Reed, the Cooper House (a.k.a. The Almy House) at 436 East Street. It is currently (2013) the location of Relish restaurant, formerly Cafe Phoenix.

Photograph taken in 1891 of the post-fire ruins of the 900 block of Broad Street.

Photograph of the frame house at 904 High Street, built in 1894 for Charles R. Morse. When Morse tired of his house at 531 Park Street, he moved uptown and built this house. A walk-through description of the house is given in the Grinnell Herald-Register articles, Requiem and Eulogy, published on September 15, 1988. Morse died in this house in 1905. Later owners of the property have been Ms. Hammond (librarian at Grinnell College), Sharp Lannom II, and Jan and Jacque Anderson.

Photograph of 911-913 Main Street in Grinnell including Spurgeon's storefront. Structures were built about 1905. Photo was taken circa 1970.

Photograph of the Spaulding Building in the central business district at 914-918 Main Street. Built in 1889 and owned by H.W. Spaulding. Several changes to the original building were made over the years: windows were later bricked in to install smaller double-hung windows with combination screens/storms. This building stands where a complex of Spaulding factory buildings stood, including the original carriage factory. The frame buildings were lost in the 1891 fire. When Craver, Steele and Austin left Grinnell to go to Harvey, Illinois, Spaulding moved his operation to Craver Building, then built a commercial building on this site.