Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Frustrated in Iowa

Monday July 23rd 

Well, Patrick, I opted to not go to the Spam Museum - sorry.

Entered Iowa about noon and began my Frank Lloyd Wright pilgrimage - better than corn any day.

First stop - Mason City which I found out was just recently named the 4th most important city to visit for architectural value - behind Mumbai and Venice and I forgot the 3rd.

First stop was the City National Bank and Park Inn Hotel which were commissioned by a BOD who wanted Wright to design a building to house the bank, a hotel, offices for lawyers who were on the Board, retail stores and some extra space for future renters.  A large undertaking for Wright but it was amazing.  It's just undergone major restoration with the hotel owning and occupying most of the whole complex.  The bank is now their ballroom.  This is the only hotel Wright designed that is still standing and still in operation.  

Front of the building

Window detail of original bank portion
Side of building but main entrance for the hotel

Lobby of hotel

Ladies lounge upstairs over lobby
I then went to see The Stockman House which Wright also designed:

Only open on week-ends :(

In town additionally there are several houses designed by students of Wrights but I didn't go to see them as I wanted to get to Charles City to see the Alvin Miller House:

This house was under renovation so not open!

Well, 1 out of 3 I guess isn't bad and I was psyched as tomorrow was the star attraction!

So, again, campsites in the state of Iowa are about as scarce as in SD.  Guess there aren't that many tourists in Iowa unless that is, you like to watch the corn grow.  BTW, I'm wondering what the other crop is that is vying for space - thinking it's soybeans but don't know for sure but it does make for better sight seeing - dark green, low growing vs light green, tall.

Anyway, I had 2 "parks" to choose from - both county parks and that was it for miles.  First one - closest to where I was and where I was going tomorrow - it was more like a low rent area and luckily for me the only elec. offered was 50 amp and I didn't have a converter plug but the guy without teeth next door was already trying to help me out.  Told him I'd better see if I couldn't find a pole with 30 amp.  Had to drive backwards 20 miles to the other park but it was great so saved by the amperage.


mileage:  246                                   gas:  $71 @ $3.60                         Camp:  $16

1 comment:

  1. There's always next year for the Spam Museum. I noticed similarities in the Wright hotel and the church we visited in Chicago a couple of years ago.