After leaving Owatonna we had a bit of drive through the country before hitting our next spot. We took a few pictures along the way. Eventually we made our way to Algona, Iowa and the Henry Adams Building, also known as the Land and Loan Office Building. This building, designed by Louis Sullivan, was never a bank but is often grouped in with his late career banks that are known as jewel boxes.
Now, I feel a little bad for this building, because after the Owatonna bank, well it’s like the sun was still shining in my eyes so it was hard to take anything else in. This is a tiny and more restrained building. It’s the last of Sullivan’s jewel boxes, built in 1913. It is now occupied by the Chamber of Commerce but they were already closed for the day so we couldn’t go in.
This little building had a long road to restoration. Here is an article from the Chicago Tribune about some of the window saga.
This was the last stop for the day. Well, there was another one planned but we were both so tired at this point that we decided that in order to keep from killing one another we should just head to our hotel.
And yeah, it was a hell of a hotel. I’ve been wanting to hit Mason City and see the Frank Lloyd Wright designed hotel that is there. I figured we’d stay somewhere cheap and just visit it. When I was poking around online looking at hotels I saw that it was the same price as the local Hampton Inn (granted we had one of the least inexpensive rooms but it was still surprisingly affordable). Well, damn, I made a reservation!!
We were tired when we got there. The entrance was sort of hidden and we weren’t sure where to park. We parked across the street along the park and when we checked in they gave us a hangtag so we could stay there overnight.
One of the things that was so startling about the space was the scale of it. As I watched Ernie check in I realize that his head was almost at the ceiling (he’s 6′ 2″). The bartender later told us that they always say that Wright must have been 5′ 3″ because they hit their heads all the time. Google says he was 5′ 7″ but I certainly wouldn’t put a bit of exaggeration past him.
We headed down to the bar in the lower level (yay, elevator!). The restaurant on the first floor was a little too pricy for our wander standards but we sat for a bit in the bar (delightful bartender) and then got some food from there (which was excellent) to just take upstairs to our room.
It felt so incredibly cosy in our little bedroom. I gotta say, I really want to go back.
Wait for me, Mason City.
More to follow.