Pipestone City Hall, now the
Pipestone County Museum
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper
Among one of the more imposing buildings in town, C. C. Smith and
Mr. Leeds constructed Pipestone City Hall in 1896 following the
architectural designs of Wallace Dow. The building is constructed
of Sioux quartzite and took only seven months to complete at a cost
of $7,822. This building stands out in the streetscape of the city
with its stepped parapet, finials and round arch window. A bell
tower was removed from the third floor due to the structural instability
of the roof. This building is notable in the city for its distinctive
architectural style. The three-story building is built in the Richardsonian
Romanesque style and displays heavy rusticated lintels. The most
character-defining feature of the building is the saddle back roof
with gables adorned with stone coping and finials. The Richardsonian
Romanesque style became popular during the late 19th century because
of its association with the industrialization of America. The robust
stone arches and fortified walls symbolized strength and masculinity,
two images that abound with the energy of industrialization and
the expansion of the railroads across America during this period.
The abundance of Sioux quartzite in Pipestone was conducive to the
Romanesque style which became popular in the town.
Pipestone City Hall, c.1897
Courtesy of Pipestone County Historical Society
The City Hall Building originally housed the fire department, the
local government offices and the city water system. Over the next
64 years, the building also housed the city lock up, public library,
gymnasium, meeting hall and teen center. The fire department and
the city offices moved to new locations in 1959 and 1960, respectively.
In 1966, the city deeded the building to the Pipestone County Historical
Society. Following major renovation and repair to the interior of
the building, the Pipestone
County Museum opened in 1968. The museum and its staff offer
an excellent source for historical information concerning Pipestone
County and its people through changing exhibits, historical and
genealogical research and publications.
The Pipestone City Hall Building, which now houses the Pipestone
County Museum, is located at 113 S. Hiawatha Ave., Pipestone.
The building is open to the public 10:00am to 5:00pm daily. There
is a fee for nonmembers. Call 1-866-PIPEMUS for more information.