The Jefferson Iowa News®

The Top Fifteen Most Attractive Buildings In Jefferson

In a previous story, we featured the businesses in Jefferson most needing attention. As the second installment of this series, we traveled through the town looking for the buildings we thought were the most attractive or impressive. Some from an architectural standpoint; others just because we simply liked the way they looked. These are the buildings around town that represent Jefferson in a positive way. They each have their own unique attributes that set them apart. Several others could easily have made this list - feel free to correct us as you see fit. After all, we all undoubtedly have our favorites. Here, then, is our presentation of the fifteen most attractive buildings in Jefferson.

No. 15:  Dairy Queen


You might find the local Dairy Queen an odd choice for this list. But we have to say, this is a unique building. It's giant ice cream cones, large outdoor sign, and bright colors combine to give it a retro look that we don't see very often anymore, at least in the Midwest. This is the best-looking Dairy Queen we have ever seen anywhere. Period.


No. 14: Wells Fargo Bank



Since the late 1970's, the northwest corner of State and Vine has been home to this interesting building which began as the Jefferson State Bank. Today, it is the Wells Fargo Bank. The structure was designed with curving exterior walls, unusually-shaped windows, and a futuristic look.


No. 13:  Jefferson Railway Depot


The refurbishing of the Milwaukee Railroad's depot created a picturesque local tourist attraction, as well as an attractive trail head for the Raccoon River Valley Recreational Trail. It looks practically new, yet maintains the architecture of its original design. Sort of has that tourist-type look, and it's hard for out-of-town visitors to drive by.


No. 12:  Greene County Community Center


One of the latest additions to the Jefferson area is the Greene County Community Center. It literally dominates the intersections of Highway 4 and Lincolnway. Its presence is so commanding that nobody can drive through town without noticing it. The 28,000 square-foot facility was opened in 1998. 


No. 11:  Jefferson-Scranton High School


The Jefferson-Scranton High School was built in 1967 on the south edge of town. It is an attractive, one-story building with a contemporary design. Directly to the east of the school you will find Linduska Field, and Allensworth Field, the football and baseball facilities. 


No. 10:  Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home


Founded in 1919, the Slininger-Rossow funeral home has undergone numerous changes over the years, culminating in its present look. Final structural additions were added in 1936, and exquisitely-crafted ironwork was added throughout the property over the years, finally being completed in 1974.


No. 9:  Jefferson-Scranton Elementary School


At number nine, we find Jefferson's newest school, the Jefferson-Scranton Elementary School, located at 401 East Russell. Located on the site of Jefferson's old high school football field, it enjoys a modern look in a quiet, picturesque area near the southeast edge of town.


No. 8:  Jefferson Public Library


The Jefferson Public Library is located at 200 West Lincolnway. The original library is on the right in the photo above, and the adult annex was added later. The artwork in front of the library is the work of David Williamson and was dedicated on September 23, 1973.


No. 7:  Trinity Lutheran Church


The Trinity Lutheran Church on West Lincolnway was built in 1952. On the left in the photo you can see the original church, with all of its stained glass windows. The large addition on the right was added much later and consists of a fellowship hall, kitchen, and offices.


No. 6:  St. Joseph's Catholic Church


St. Joseph's Catholic Church is ranked as the number six most attractive building in town. It is located at 503 N. Chestnut Street. Notice the large bell tower. Many stained glass windows can be found throughout the structure. A parish center was added later.


No. 5:  Lincoln Square


Originally the Head Hotel, this building was renamed Lincoln Hotel after the Lincoln Highway was constructed directly past its doorsteps. It has a long interesting history. After falling into disrepair, it was resurrected in the 1980's and rechristened the Lincoln Square.


No. 4:  United Methodist Church


At number four, we find the United Methodist Church, located at 307 South Wilson. After an addition was added, the structure assumed its current size, which is massive. It has an almost medieval look to it. You could be gazing at a castle on the Salisbury Plain.


No. 3:  Greene County Medical Center


Perhaps Jefferson's most technologically impressive structure is the Greene County Medical Center, located on a rise near the west edge of town. It was originally completed in 1937, and bore almost no resemblance to the behemoth you see today. Many, many additions later, the medical center continues to provide quality health care to the surrounding area.


No. 2:  Greene County Courthouse


The Greene County Courthouse was dedicated in 1917. Three stories tall, it is constructed of Bedford stone. A reproduction of the county seal in mosaic tile forms the center of the rotunda floor. On the four walls of the dome are lunette paintings. Located in the center of the business district, it is the hub of all activity in Jefferson.


No. 1:  The Mahanay Tower



Jefferson will always be known as the home of the Mahanay Memorial Carillion Tower, a 168' tall structure dedicated in the fall of 1966. Located on the southwest corner of the courthouse square, it was given to the people of Jefferson in accordance with wills of Mr. and Mrs. W. Floyd Mahanay. The fourteen bells were cast at the world-famous Petit-Frtzen Bell Foundry in Holland.