Munson Building, Independence, Iowa

Update: New improved photography added in July of 2023.

We spotted the Munson Building from a block away, and immediately our interest was piqued. At first, we thought it was the old Buchanan County Courthouse, and then, when we got a little closer, we assumed it was a church.

Then we got up close, and I spotted the figure of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom reading a book, and we realized this was a special building, and never any of those earlier functions. As the National Register nomination explains, this was a community center, built was money left in 1895 by a successful businessman, Perry Munson..

Building off German notions in the Nineteenth Century of developing both the mind and the body, the Munson Building was both a library and gym, allowing for young people to exercise all aspects of their persona. I couldn’t figure out what it is used for now.

Update: Additional photographs added in July of 2023.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. What an amazing building. Thanks for posting even during your travels.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I’ll let you in on a little secret. I took these photos weeks ago and set these posts to automatically publish at 7:00 AM every morning.

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