305 Fifth Ave




Charles and Leila (Marsh) Altfillisch


305 Fifth Ave Decorah, IA 52101

Year Built


Architectural Style

Dutch Colonial

The Nov. 9, 1921 Decorah Journal announced the marriage of Charles Altfillisch and Leila Marsh in Oregon and said that after their return to Decorah, they would move into “their new home in West Decorah.” The Altfillisch grandchildren confirm that 305 Fifth Ave. was the Altfillisch family home for their whole marriage until they moved into their Altfillisch-designed 801 Mound St. residence in 1957. The Fifth Ave. house was at that time purchased by a Altfillisch architectural firm associate Don Gray and his wife Nan, who expanded the house towards the rear in the 1980s or 90s. The home’s third owner purchased the house from the Grays in 2011.

The house is a Dutch Colonial design, on a somewhat smaller scale and less elaborated than the 1923 Weiser house at 609 West Broadway. We don’t know whether the house was designed with the help of A. S. Hanson or by Altfillisch alone, although it is fair to guess that Altfillisch would have wanted to design his own home by himself. The steep-roofed garage to the left rear is a replacement for a smaller garage built a few years after the house.

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