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Stromstein Building

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Northwood, IA, United States, Iowa, USA 50459
Current Use: This building is being authentically rehabilitated
Vacancy: Vacant

The site for the town of Northwood was chosen for its location on the hill overlooking a bend in the Shell Rock River; the Stromstein Building is located on that overlook and is the most distinctive bridge linking the river and the commercial core. The building’s physical relationship to the historic commercial core of Central Avenue also remains intact. The first floor has been a mixed-use commercial and residential for most of its life, including serving as a shoe shop and beauty parlor. The upper floor has always been a dwelling. The building is considered a contributing resource to the Northwood Central Avenue Historic District, which was placed on the National Register in 2006. It is the roof and street facade, however, that makes the design of the Stromstein Building truly one-of-a-kind.

The Stromstein building currently stands in a state of deterioration, with significant foundation settlement, wood rot evident in the sill plate, windowsills, and soffits. Deterioration and cracking of the brick foundation wall is evident at and below grade level. Some attic “ridge beams” have twisted. The soffit boards on the west have pulled free of the soffit framing at the north half of the building. The chimney at the center of the building has deteriorated and crumbled into the basement. The first floor is very irregular. This may be due to poorly framed or supported openings in the floor, joist rot, or deterioration of the sills. The bead board ceiling of the first floor has fallen in many locations. The second floor framing appears to be in relatively good condition.

Most window glass is missing and sashes, while extant, are heavily weathered. Water has infiltrated and damaged various elements of the interior.


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