Blair House - Washington, Iowa
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 41° 17.891 W 091° 41.411
15T E 609660 N 4572686
Quick Description: Blair house is a two-and-a-half story, red brick Second Empire building located at East Washington Street and South 2nd Avenue, in Washington, Iowa.
Location: Iowa, United States
Date Posted: 5/31/2020 3:33:27 AM
Waymark Code: WM12HHB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 1

Long Description:
My Commentary: There is nothing quite like driving through a small town, turning a corner, and having one's breath taken away by a building. This is one of the best examples of Second Empire architecture I have found. This used to be City Hall among other things - I'm glad the town decided to preserve the building as opposed to tearing it down when it decided to build the new city hall.

Blair House is a two and one-half story building of brick with mansard roofs, a two-sided porch (added in 1903) and a variety of striking white window-hoods. The general plan is asymmetrical. Formerly adorned by decorative roof cresting and two smaller entrance porches. Blair House for the most part maintains its original appearance.

On the interior, all partitions have been added or removed as various uses dictated, two fireplaces were removed from the first floor but the second and third floor remain unchanged. A gymnasium and club rooms have been added to the south side.

- National Register Application

The Blair House of Washington, Iowa, formerly used as the town's City Hall, was built in 1881. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The building has served several different functions in its history. It was built as a private residence by a local financier and realtor Winfield Smouse. The Blair family lived here from 1882 to 1891, followed by C.J. Wilson. It then housed the Commercial Club from 1903 to 1926 and they added a gymnasium and club rooms on the south side. The building housed the Washington City Hall from 1926 to 1972. They added a larger front porch, a fire station to the east side of the house and hung the fire bell in the tower. It is one of the few Victorian houses that remains in this area. The 2½ story structure follows an irregular plan. Its exterior is composed of brick and both the main block and the tower are capped with a mansard roof. Des Moines architect William Wagner said the Blair House is a "little gem-a minature [sic] Terrace Hill," a reference to the present Iowa Governor's Mansion.

- Blair House Wikipedia Page

Street address:
East Washington Street and South 2nd Avenue
Washington, IA USA

County / Borough / Parish: Washington

Year listed: 1973

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924, 1875-1899

Historic function: Domestic,Government,Social

Current function: Education, Government, Recreation And Culture

Privately owned?: no

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 2: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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