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[graphic] Syndicate Block
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[photo] Current view and historic sketch c.1884 of the Syndicate Block
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper and Pipestone County Historical Society

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 business hours.


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