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The Slipcover Removed, Central Avenue, Dubuque, Iowa

Well, then. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t use Google Street View images on this site, unless I absolutely have to, as I feel it’s imperative for me to get out there in the field and actually photograph buildings myself. But every so often, I see a need to go back and look at a past Street View image, and try and figure out what the heck was happening a year or two before October of 2018 when I saw the building above on Central Avenue between 14th and 15th streets. Below, you can see what it looked like before what was probably one of the ugliest “slipcovers,” as we call it, was removed.

And what a story that is told after it was removed. What was originally probably a Romanesque Revival dry good store or office building has had an interesting life, hasn’t it? Look below at all the different accretions it has received over the years.

7 Comments

  1. I really hope that building at 1473 Central Avenue gets properly restored (and that they restore/preserve those most excellent Pontiac signs!!).

  2. What is that. “Slipcover” made of? And why would anyone ever do that?

    • Hard to tell what it was made of without having seen it in person; they vary from steel to concrete to aluminum. It was a way owners “updated” their buildings in the mid-Twentieth Century to look more “modern.” Many buildings in downtown St. Louis received the same treatment.

  3. The slipcover appears to be some type of tile. But, I agree… Who thought that was a good idea, and who agreed to go thru with it? I guess whoever did it, didn’t have much need for windows.

    • I would love to know the story behind that building. Usually buildings with no windows in the mid-Twentieth Century were department stores.

  4. I used to live in a building on 15th and central. The living room had what appeared to be an old garage door with a bench set into it. Iheard it was the back entrance for a funeral home. Would love to know.

    • Interesting! Do you remember the address? Often typing the address into Google Books will bring up previous business uses and owners.

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