Front facade of Mackay
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper
The city of Pipestone made good use of its natural resources in
that many buildings utilized the Sioux quartzite for a sturdy building
material, and the Mackay Block is no exception. Built in 1898 by
Leon Moore for Fraser Mackay, the focal point of this two-story
Romanesque building is the second floor oriel window. The building's
facade is embellished with a checkerboard patterned frieze of pink
and red Sioux quartzite and pink belt coursing. There is also a
small white stone in the upper west corner with the inscription
"F. MACKAY 1898."
In earlier years, the building was a dry goods store and grocery
followed by the Gem Theatre for 20 years. An iron balcony was removed
during a 1913 remodeling and enlargement phase. While inspecting
the addition to the rear of the building during this time, Fraser
MacKay, the building owner, fell off the scaffolding and died hours
later of his injuries. During another remodeling phase in 1964 in
which a bakery was housed in the building, the transom windows were
replaced with large colored tiles and the oriel window was removed.
Only a few years later in 1977, the building
again was remodeled to restore its original front and the oriel
window was replicated. The old butcher-block table and ovens from
the building's bakery days are still located in the back area.
The Mackay Block is located at 110 W. Main St., Pipestone. It
is now a ladies dress shop, Clothier By Dawn, open to the public
during normal business hours.