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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Views of my hometown (Status: Mid Century in the midwest)

I was visiting my hometown and didn't really find much at my usual hunting spots, so I took some pics of a few cool mid century commercial buildings and my favorite house. 
My hometown is a small rural city that peaked at a population of around 30,000 in the early 1970's.  The city was built on manufacturing of digging equipment, road maintenance equipment, railroads, agriculture and (improbably) advertising.
This building was built by the telephone company
Hey, is this building a Broyhill Brasilia or a Kent Coffey Perspecta?

Right behind the cool telephone building is this Eero Saarinen-esque church
Just down the road from both of the previous buildings is this cool little complex of three buildings that used to have a super cool water feature plaza.
 Behind the bank is a building that is an architect's office.

Sadly, this plaza used to have a stream that flowed down a water course cut into a series of terraced platforms to a pond that I suspect had a fountain.

The red building at the base of the pond has been empty for quite some time and is as dilapidated as the plaza.  I can so imagine eating my lunch by the running water on the plaza.

One wacky fact about my hometown is that it was the advertising capital of the midwest.  No joke, it had more advertising business than any city between New York and Chicago.

 This was the headquarters for the largest of the three advertising agencies.  It has a sorta Bauhaus feel.

Lastly, this is my favorite house.
I really dig the bridge to the red front door
This awesome house even has an awesome front yard light

Now do you see why I find cool stuff in my hometown?


  1. Amazing architecture, I never would have thought advertising would be a booming business outside of the major cities. My hometown is also small (Fayetteville, Arkansas) but it boomed in the 1870s then the 1980s so most of our architecture is from both of those time periods (sadly very few MCM buildings).

    What's the major industry in your hometown now? Have most of these buildings been preserved/are still in use?

  2. @The Thriftaholic- They are all still in use (except the one building at the base of the water feature in the bank complex). The telephone co. building is now just an office building and the advertising agency building is also just an office building (The adverting agencies all moved to Columbus in the early 1990's). Most buildings are from the early 1900's-20's; anything new is just a box made of concrete blocks.

    Major industries- dishwashers and washing machines, cardboard boxes, prisons (we have three of various types) and popcorn. There is a lot of unemployment.

  3. Hmmm, I think I know where your hometown is now! I will refrain from offering a guess here so you can keep your secret hunting spot ;)

  4. I have friends moving to Columbus, OH and am looking for mid century modern-esque buildings and sites to see when I visit them. Love your pictures.

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