212 High St






Roy and Helen (Bauder) Carlson


212 High St Decorah, IA 52101

Year Built


Architectural Style

International Style

This home was featured in a magazine article for its unusual floor plan. It appears to be built on one level, but actually is a four bedroom house with varying floor levels. Its exterior combines concrete block with courses [coarse?] ashlar. A small entrance opens directly into the sizable living room and kitchen. A short flight of stairs leads to a larger recreation room, with another fireplace, and a bedroom room and bath suite. A short flight of stairs at the end of the living room leads to the other three bedrooms upstairs. Outside, two terraces, one in front and one in back with an outdoor fireplace, originally provided two places for outdoor dining.

In 1962, the original owners, Roy and Helen Carlson, had Charles Altfillisch design two major renovations. They enclosed the back patio and incorporated it and the fireplace into the living room. They also added the pentagon-shaped room on the SE corner of the house, a room that Helen Carlson later told one of her neighbors was her favorite space in the house.

In 2002 the home’s second owners added a low pitched roof over the original flat roofs in order to prevent leaking and to add insulation. They also added insulation on the outside block walls and had it stuccoed over by the Sacquitnes. Chuck Gipp commented on the unusual original block, concrete, and steel construction and said, “The only wood in the whole house are the five steps leading from the main level up to the bedroom area.”

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