Much of the city’s history can be seen through stunning displays of architecture. Historic neighborhoods feature a variety of home styles, from Folk Victorian to Prairie School. Thirteen properties—as well as most of the downtown area—are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Merchants National Bank was designed by Louis Sullivan. Built in 1914, it features a Prairie-style interior and is second in the series of famous “jewel box” banks. It currently houses the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce.
Other significant structures include the Masonic Temple and the Lamberson-Hunt Building, both of which feature Art Deco elements. Ricker House features the work of acclaimed architect Walter Burley Griffin. Union
Station, Grinnell’s original railroad depot, was completed in 1893 and used by the Chicago and Rock Island and Central of Iowa rail lines. In 1996, it was renovated as a restaurant. The campus of Grinnell College is also replete with striking architectural designs.
Grinnell architectural tours of downtown are available by calling (641) 236-6555.