West Union, Iowa

West Union is the county seat of Fayette County, and thus has a abundance of stately houses due to the various professionals attracted by the government in town.

Many are well-preserved or restored, including this rare shingle-style house below.

The main square sits high up on a hill, and the buildings line it are well-preserved and occupied. Many of course still show evidence of being altered in the mid-Twentieth Century.

Holy Name Catholic Church sits on the northeast side of the square.

While First Baptist Church sits on the northwest corner of the courthouse square.

It is typical of an early Iowa church in that it has many characteristic of Neo-Classical architecture: Doric pilasters and a temple pediment front facade.

The courthouse itself is a classic example of a Beaux-Arts replacement of an earlier Nineteenth Century building that was either torn down or destroyed.

It is in excellent condition and holds the Fayette County office and courtrooms on the top floor, which is typical of rural courthouses.

Off the main square there is typically a street lined with the original houses of the professionals of the town, where the doctors and lawyers would have lived in the county seat.

This massive Queen Anne house, carefully restored by its owners, is one such example.

This house, to the east, was almost certainly built as the stable and possibly a servant’s house. It is being restored for their daughter to live in.

Interestingly, the old city hall building, from 1899, is no longer used, as the current West Union city hall and police department have been moved to a suburban style campus on the southwest edge of town.

To the north of West Union are many small towns with large, stately churches on the road to Decorah.

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