I walked through an alley down by the railyards, and came back up Fourth Street, which is what I would call the secondary main street of downtown Burlington.
There are surprisingly few vacant lots or parking lots; most of the downtown along these two streets is intact.
My favorite building in the town was this Italianate-meets-French Gothic; its formal front doesn’t face Fourth, but rather the cross street.
The reason I’ve come to love these Iowa river towns is that they preserve a lot of the architectural whimsy that St. Louis possessed in the Nineteenth Century but later demolished for the early skyscrapers of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.
Seriously, what was this architect thinking? Rules are broken at random, and the eclecticism is wonderful.
Along Fourth Street, the building reverts to brick on its less formal side.
This stout church of what looks like yellow limestone dominates the street as its elevation begins to rise.
Above and below are two stunning Beaux-Arts bank buildings, still occupied and well-maintained.
This stunning red sandstone building looks like buildings I’ve seen in New York; I don’t know what style to call it, but it seems to have Italianate roots. It is now the history museum for the city.
As Fourth Street goes up higher, the businesses and churches begin to turn into houses as the residential neighborhood above downtown takes over.
I was amazed by the unexpected beauty of Burlington, and perhaps I can go back sometime in the future and photograph more of its housing stock now that I have covered downtown.