Current view and historic sketch c.1884
of the Syndicate Block
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper and Pipestone County Historical
The Syndicate Block occupies a prominent corner in downtown Pipestone
and has the distinction of being the largest and the oldest Sioux
quartzite building in the Pipestone Commercial
Historic District. In addition, this building also acts as an
anchor for the West End Business District. There were originally
three different stores with three different owners when the building
was constructed in 1884.
Italianate in style, the two-story building is distinguished by
a pressed metal cornice running along the length of both facades.
This cornice also supports the pediment rising from the south facade.
The pediment is embellished with a relief consisting of an Indian
ceremonial pipe crossed with a bow and arrows. The design alludes
to the town's association with the quarries and American Indian
heritage. The south and east elevations no longer display their
cornice features. A band of masonry block wraps around the building
and is formed in part by the segmented arches of the windows.
Detail of the cornice
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper
The corner store of the building opened as a clothing store, became
the post office from 1898 to 1906 and then housed a meat market
from 1910 to 1964. The central store was Geyerman's, a woman's clothing
store that opened in 1936. The store was so successful that it expanded
into the corner store in 1964. The western storefront area always
possessed a separate business, which did not incorporate into the
Geyerman's store. In March 1920 a fire severely damaged the central
and western stores, but the building was repaired. The second floor,
like in many other Pipestone buildings, acted as professional offices,
apartments and also as a hotel for a short period of time.
The Syndicate Block is located at 201-205 W. Main St., Pipestone.
Still occupied by Geyerman's, it is open to the public during regular