Architectural Gems Blog

Celebrating the Midwest’s historic landmarks, majestic mansions, and iconic buildings

Why I Love The Carnegie Library of Cedar Rapids, IA

See why I’m enchanted by this 1905 library

Terrace Hill – The Governor’s Mansion of Iowa

This home is a wonderfully preserved example of Second Empire architecture.

9 Historic Gas Stations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

These small structures show the direction of car culture.

The Grandeur of Veterans Memorial Building – Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Veterans Memorial Building is a unique public tribute to military service.

Grant Wood Window – Veterans Memorial Building

The window contains over 9,000 pieces of stained glass

The Brilliance of Sullivan’s Jewel Box Bank in Grinnell

This Sullivan bank is a study in ornamentation.

Iowa’s Only Courthouse on an Island

This 1925 Beaux Arts building is a hidden gem in plain sight.

A Luxurious Art Deco Train Station in Omaha

Experience an era when rail travel was glamorous

5 Historic Fire Stations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Beautiful brick “hose houses” from the 20th century

The Iowa State Capitol – A Prairie Palace

Iowa has one of the most impressive examples of state capitol architecture.

A Louis Sullivan That Defied The Wrecking Ball

Meet the handsomest building in Clinton, Iowa

See Czech Architectural History in New Bohemia

A tour of salvaged buildings with proud immigrant roots

A Sustainable Escape at Prairiewoods

I visited one of the only two LEED Gold buildings in Iowa.

Celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th Anniversary

An inside peek into the Lowell House and the Robie House.

Welcome to Architectural Gems

Architectural Gems is an unapologetically geeky exploration of the buildings that catch my eye.

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