Overview

04

Owner

Frank C. and Sofie (Klatt) Kochendorfer

Address

702 Center Ave Decorah IA 52101

Year Built

1938

Architectural Style

International Style

This building’s rectangular lines and minimal decoration are characteristic of International Style architecture. Like the 1938 Vernon St. Carlson Duplex, this home has a slightly elaborated roofline–now most visible on the garage, which retains its original flat roof (the home’s original flat roof was replaced with a pitched roof ca. 2000-2013). Although no photographs of the original house have yet surfaced, the steeply-pitched porch roof is almost surely a recent addition.

This light-colored brick home was designed by Altfillisch for Dr. Frank C. Kochendorfer, a veterinarian who set up practice on Washington St. in Decorah in 1918 after graduating from veterinary college in Chicago. Although there has been speculation that Dr. Kockendorfer used the garage for his veterinarian practice, newspaper advertisements show that at the time this house was built and up into the 1950s, he had an office at 117 Washington St.

One of the home’s distinctive, International Style features is the first-floor corner window. (There is an even more prominent corner window on the home at 301 Pershing Ave., designed in the same year for a doctor’s home and office, but that home was evidently designed by Lars Seim. See the later Supplemental Materials section “Properties often incorrectly identified with Altfillisch.”)

The Kockendorfer home retains the original narrow-oak flooring, its radiators, many of the original oak one-paneled doors, and many distinctive features like a curved wall in the entryway, the oak-door mail slot, an oak telephone nook, first and second-story built-in storage cabinets and shelving, and a half-octagon bow-out for the dining room. The deteriorating, original fireplace in the northwest living room corner was replaced in 2020.

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