Bluff Street Between 3rd and 5th Streets, Dubuque, Iowa

At the corner of West 5th Street and Bluff Street is the Augustine A. Cooper House, a restored Romanesque Revival mansion that is now a bed and breakfast.

Cooper was a wagon manufacturer in Dubuque, and his wagons were shipped throughout the United States and even the world.

But Cooper’s house is a bit of a surprise, as most of the houses in this part of the city are much older and look to have been constructed before the Civil War, their Greek Revival roots showing. This is an important collection of houses for the history of American architecture.

The house below is interesting; the stepped parapet has either been relaid recently or it is not original; I just saw houses in Soulard last fall that have such a shallow width. Again, this is a very old house in the Greek Revival vein. Look at the wood frame addition to the right, looking like a Greek temple.

The houses that predominate are duplexes, as well, as you can see below.

The row of houses below could easily be mistaken for a street in Baltimore, for that matter or any number of East Coast cities. That one even has the accursed Formstone on it!

There is still an operating funicular, which St. Louis never had, but are common in European cities, which takes passengers up to the bluffs. Such mass transit was built by and for the wealthy, originally.

I’m still so amazed at how well preserved this part of town is, considering how old it is; it looks like Hampden, the old mill town on the Jones Falls in what is now north central Baltimore.

This part of town also has more eclectic shops in the dense housing stock.

I can’t get over how much this area looks like rural Maryland, where I once lived.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Bud Geyer says:

    Two comments. The redstone was not A. A. Cooper’s home. His was across Bluff St. on the site of the parking lot you pictured. It was far grander and was called the gerystone. The redstone was built as a gift for his daughter, and is a duplex, should she need extra income since she married a man Cooper did not approve of. The small brick house with the stepped gable is supposedly the oldest remaining house in Dubuque. I just discovered your articles and they are great. Thank you so much.

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