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[graphic] Moore Block
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Moore Block
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper

Built in 1896, this 25 foot by 85 foot building was constructed of Sioux quartzite by Leon H. Moore, a local businessman who owned and operated a Sioux quartzite quarry. One of the more distinctive features of this building are the gargoyles that embellish the north and west facades. Leon Moore was an amateur sculptor who created the building's gargoyles and other sculptures, including the relief of Moses on the front facade. One of Moore's masterpieces, it has the face of Moses surrounded by bulrushes, two female faces, and the baby in the basket. Another biblical sculpture which adorns the building is of Eve with a serpent and apples surrounding her head. The flat stone arches of the two windows facing Main Street have sculpted heads as their keystones. Legend has it, although unconfirmed, that Moore had sculpted a statue of a nude woman, rumored to be Eve, and placed it in the niche on the front facade of the building. Apparently the townspeople were outraged by this act and forced the removal of the statue, which was never seen again.


[photo] Gargoyles depicting Eve and Moses
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper

The first floor front facade was modernized in 1938 with black glass and aluminum trim. Sometime later, two oriel windows on the west side of the second story were removed. The first floor housed many businesses, including a shoe store, which occupied the space for 72 years. In the early years, the second floor was home to doctors and lawyers and later became apartments. The basement, with its entrance on the west facade, housed several small businesses. The upper floors of the building are now vacant.

The Moore Block is located at 102 E. Main St., Pipestone and is currently a used furniture store, although it is not open to the public.

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