The Exquisite Cornice, Postville, Iowa

This is officially the skinniest photo I have ever posted on this website. There is something magnificent about the details of this cornice: the broken pediment, the compound brackets, the arched central bay. It would look better without the white paint and the plywood, though.


  1. It’s certainly striking. Somehow, though, its scale and details make me think more of the cabinetmaker’s art than the mason’s.

    • Indeed, but remember, the cast iron industry in St. Louis exported its wares throughout the Midwest. Look closely, and you can see that the cornice is probably made out of mass-produced metal pieces fitted together. I wonder if they came from a St. Louis source originally.

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