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[graphic] Pipestone Commercial

[graphic] Historic District Link to Next Site
[photo] Historic and current views of Main St.
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper and Pipestone County Museum

The Pipestone Commercial Historic District is comprised of approximately 30 commercial buildings located in a two-block area of downtown Pipestone. The town was first platted from 1873 to 1874. Pipestone experienced a boom from 1883 to 1884--the result of the establishment of railroad service to the area and successful land promotional efforts by the South Minnesota Land Company. The character of the district is derived from the exclusive use of Sioux quartzite as a building material in 17 of the buildings, making it the largest concentration of Sioux quartzite buildings in the state. The majority of these buildings were built in the 1890s and visually relate to each other in height, scale and vernacular style, sharing a common texture and color of building materials. Although most of the pivotal buildings are vernacular, there are examples of the Richardsonian Romanesque, Neoclassical and Italianate styles as well.

View of City Hall taken from Courthouse, 1910.
Courtesy of Pipestone County Museum
The most visually prominent building is the Calumet Hotel, a four-story Richardsonian Romanesque structure which occupies the main intersection in the downtown. Pipestone City Hall also illustrates the Richardsonian Romanesque style; the Neoclassical style is represented in the two buildings constructed for the First National Bank at 101 W. Main Street and 113 W. Main Street; the Italianate style can be seen at the Syndicate Block . Three of the buildings in the district are embellished with relief sculpture carved by local skilled craftsmen. The key to the beauty of Pipestone's buildings is how the stone is cut, dressed and arranged in the building walls. The masons used rough-faced stone, clearly marked joints, and arranged blocks in a variety of patterns and colors. The color variety of the historic district was produced by a blending lighter Sioux quartzite from the Jasper quarries with darker Sioux quartzite from the Pipestone quarries. Many of the early business establishments constructed during the 1880s and 1890s were built of Sioux quartzite. These are the buildings which comprise the district today and continue to serve commercial purposes.

The Pipestone Commercial Historic District is located in downtown Pipestone, including Main St. between Second Ave. SW/NW and Second Ave. NE/SE, and generally one block south along N. Hiawatha Ave. and Second Ave. SW. Many of the buildings within the district are open to the public during normal business hours. Visit the Chamber of Commerce's website for more information.

[graphic] Link to essay on Pipestone County History [graphic] Link to essay on Downtown Revitalization[graphic] Link to essay on Pipestone: The Rock

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