Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Demise of the Armstrong Lumber Company Building

In Dyersville, Iowa the Armstrong Lumber Company building stood for several decades...until 2015. Last February, I photographed a couple old time buildings that were positioned along the east-west railroad track in Dyersville. The wooden lumber building was interesting photographically having been long ago boarded up and abandoned. Four months later I returned to Dyersville to find the Armstrong building gone. Nothing in its place except for a newly crushed limestone parking area.

Its easy to imagine back in the day that rail cars would bring lumber to Dyersville, where it was unloaded and stored in the Armstrong building. Farmers and towns folk would come to the business and buy materials for farms, businesses and homes. While commercial and residential lumber business continues elsewhere in Dyersville, the removal of the Armstrong Lumber building along the rail lines is another chapter describing how cities transform in the Midwest.

Was something lost in the removal of the building? Certainly the owners eliminated a liability and a potential hazard, but a piece of the city's heritage was also removed. Perhaps documentation of the building and published accounts of the business are preserved at the local historical society or museum.