Friday, June 01, 2007

On Closer Inspection

In looking a little closer at the 1928 letter from J.H. Hunzinger Co's Herman Smith I got to thinking about where the company used to be. The letterhead lists 29 N. Governor St. as the mill site with offices at 821 E. Jefferson St.

I thought about the mill site first. The north-south divider in Iowa City is Iowa Ave. This is the street the runs due east from the Old Capitol site. 29 would be in the first block north. A quick look on the assessor's site turned up no such address today. I then turned to the office and 821 E. Jefferson today is a medical building. (my childhood doctor's old place) Records show the office was built in 1968. Here it is:

I remember a large empty lot to the front of the property. It looks like the lot was divided and an apartment building was put up in 1979:

So looking at the map today here is how the neighborhood lays out:

I'm pretty sure what is today called 831 E. Jefferson used to be 29 N. Governor. The two properties were probably sold as a single unit, the mill site cleared and the 821 address used for both. When redivided the entrance is on Jefferson so the new 831 address was created.

Most of the rest of the neighborhood dates back to the Hunzinger era. Here is what's across Governor from their old site:

And what is across Jefferson:

This was a fun little exercise. I know that the state historical society has a 1938 Sanborn fire map, I'll try to get over there to check out how the site was listed in the era right after Hunzinger would have left.

A couple of "small world" paradoxes involved with Hunzinger in the last two days:

1. The sites listed above, in addition to being my old doctor's office, are 4 blocks from our old house (Jefferson and Van Buren)

2. In looking at Hunzinger's web site yesterday, one of their testimonials was from a Milwaukee area school superintendent, David Cronin, who used to the be superintendent in Iowa City. When I was president of the local teachers' union I often dealt with Dave.

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