Commercial Historic District

Decorah Commercial DistrictDecorah Commercial Historic Distrist
NRHP 2017

The District includes a seven-block section of Water Street running from the Vesterheim building (520 W. Water St.) to the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Depot (300 E. Water St.), and adjoining sections of W. Day Spring Lane and Washington, Winnebago, Court, and Main Streets. The district includes 128 buildings and one object (88 contributing; 40 non-contributing) that represent the commercial development of Decorah from 1853 to the present. The buildings, which have held a wide range of businesses, are eclectic vernacular in design.

The Commercial District nomination has not yet been digitized by the Department of the Interior but a local copy is available here.

During the research phase of the National Register nomination, the Decorah Historic Preservation Commission sponsored a series of newspaper articles on individual downtown buildings. The articles were written by local researchers, and the series was coordinated and edited by researcher Judy van der Linden.


123 W. Water (Hacker, Nelson, & Co.), by Cindy Womeldorf

126 E. Water (Kepheart's Music), by Ed Epperly 

108 Washington St. (Anundsen's Publishing Company), by Jim Iversen

400 W. Water St. (Java John's Coffee House), by Judy van der Linden

402-404 W. Water St. (Paradise Sun, Beyond Bar), by Judy van der Linden

119 Court St. (Bell Telephone Building), by Adrienne Coffeen

311 W. Water St. (K. I. Haugen Building; Decorah Furniture), by Judy van der Linden