Description: Sitting here in the first platted area of Sioux City is one of the first ever mansions in the city. This was once the house of Judge Joseph R. Zuver, built on Prospect Hill on the Westside. The house is built in the Italianate style, with features like a square, asymmetrical plan, low pitched roof, multiple stories, tall, arched windows with elaborate window crowns, and most especially the widely overhanging eaves on the roof with decorative brackets. Fred Dean built his house on Prospect Hill during the 1870s, when development of the Prospect Hill really began in earnest. The area around the hill, which sits where Bluff Street meets West 1st Street today, seemed like a prime location for building because of its scenic views. Dr. Cook climbed Prospect Hill to make the original plat of Sioux City because the hill gave him a great overview of the area, and ever since then some of the best city views have been seen from the top of that hill. Like most of the wealthier citizens in the area Zuver occupied his house closer to the peak of the hill, which had the best scenic view. The surrounding area of the neighborhood was reserved mostly for the middle class. Soon a commercial district popped up along West 7th Street and Prospect Hill became a vibrant neighborhood in its own right.
As time wore on wealthy citizens like Zuver were either moving to the better developments on the Northside and Morningside, and when the Depression era hit no one could afford to live in the large, luxurious mansions they left behind. The houses were either torn town or subdivided into duplexes and apartments, and the Prospect Hill neighborhood became largely middle class. It remains a mostly middle to working class neighborhood to this day. Zuver’s house was torn down in the late 1960s. However, the concrete steps seen at the forefront of this photo are still there, leading up to an empty lot.
Donor: Daymon and Vickey Lohry