An unusual place stood on the corner of 1st Street and Chestnut Avenue in Earlham. It had windows with graceful arches, and a masonry facade, still beautiful after almost 120 years of weathering. As attractive as the outside was, the interior was a testament to a century of practical repurposing, capped off by a rain event which caused major roof damage and water infiltration. The building, known as the Bricker-Price Block, was a historic relic by spring of 2016, unoccupied, and quickly escalating from disrepair to blight.
One more evolution of the space, which has served as everything from a telephone exchange to a hair salon, has transformed these neglected, empty storefronts into intimate and welcoming places that showcase the spirit of rural Iowans. The Bricker-Price Block Project expands educational, cultural and recreational opportunities in Madison County through restoration and development. The revitalized streetscape honors community history while providing relevant 21st century experiences.
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