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Streetview of McClanahan Block
Courtesy of the Iowa Falls Historic Preservation Commission

The 1913 McClanahan Block is a two-story storefront brick building located on the south side of Washington Avenue, in the middle of the 600 block. It is a good example of simplified commercial design from the second decade of this century.

The McClanahan block illustrates the "new, modern" designs that were in favor in 1913. Rather than projecting hoodmolds and cornices, the new buildings featured a fašade where the visual interest was on the surface and was created through brick patterns, colors and inset panels of stone or concrete. The storefront proper features a deeply recessed entry flanked by glass display windows. Marble panels are found below the glass. The original prism glass transom is fully revealed. The simplicity of the exterior design is common to commercial buildings built from 1910 to 1920, and is similar to that seen on the building immediately west, which was constructed in 1914 as the Rex Theater and features a glazed white brick fašade.

The interior of the building is remarkably unchanged. The first floor retail space remains undivided from front to rear with the exception of an office partition that does not extend to the ceiling. This allows light from the north and the south to flood into the shop. The original pressed metal ceiling is fully visible. The original occupant of the first floor was a hardware store, and Dr. McClanahan, a dentist, had his offices on the second floor.

The McClanahan Block, located at 613 Washington Ave., in Iowa Falls, is currently occupied by a gifts and collectibles business open during normal business hours.


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