Judge Larimer's House
Date: c. 1890
Description: Morningside has been well known for its fine houses over the years, and this is no exception. This house, which once sat at 2015 South St. Aubin Street, belonged to Judge Adam V. Larimer. The house was so iconic that an elevated rail station was built nearby, and it was dubbed Larimer Station. Larimer’s house draws attention because of its architecture, a unique mix of styles with strong Richardsonian Romanesque elements. This style was named for the designer of Trinity Church in Boston, Henry Hobson Richardson, who used elements from French, Spanish, and Italian Romanesque. Some of the characteristic elements of the style are clearly displayed in Larimer’s house: banded (grouped together) round arches, squat columns, recessed entrances, and rough cut stones as building material (rustication). Many Richardsonian Romanesque buildings and houses also include rounded, cone-capped towers, which do not exist on Larimer’s house but are present in many other Sioux City buildings constructed in the style, such as the Peirce Mansion. Richardsonian Romanesque only remained as a popular style from about 1885 to 1905, and thus not many buildings are left that show these elements. However this period was in the heyday of Sioux City’s boom years, and thus the city had and still has some of the greatest examples of this style of architecture outside of the East Coast.
Larimer’s house was built in the then new South St. Aubin Addition in Morningside. Named for Dr. John Cook’s step-daughter, Henrietta St. Aubin Jackson, the addition was owned by the Cooks and then by James A. Jackson and then by Judge Larimer himself. The old elevated railroad came to the surface near where Morningside Avenue meets South St. Aubin Street, and thus this addition was key for development of both businesses and residential houses. Today South St. Aubin remains one of the major streets in Morningside, though Larimer’s house is no longer there. The house burned sometime in the early 20th century and Larimer moved back to his hometown of Council Bluffs.
Donor: Sioux City Museum and Historical Association