Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, April 16, 2012
by Kristin Buehner

Egloff house damage assessed

MASON CITY — Damage is being assessed at the EGLOFF House in Mason City after a portion of a two-trunk burr oak tree fell on the roof Sunday when high winds hit the area.

The house, at 655 Seventh St. N.E., is in a flood buyout area.

City officials had hoped to move rather than demolish the 1939 house, a rare example of the International Style of architecture in Iowa. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

"The tree falling has no impact on our desire to move the house," said Tricia SANDHAL, city floodplain administrator. "In fact, it will make it easier to move."

The tree was approximately 45 feet in height. It fell sometime between 9 a.m. and noon Sunday, SANDAHL said. It is being removed.

"It appears the fall was due to the heavy wind gusts combined with significant rot at ground level where the two tree trunks converged," SANDAHL said.

The Mason City Police Department notified her Sunday that it had received a report that a tree had fallen against the house and that the power lines were down, she said. Alliant Energy was called to cut power to the lines.

"The south half of the tree was resting against the house and several large branches had scraped the west side of the house, causing minor damage to the mast above the electric meter and tearing the power lines out," said SANDAHL, who was at the scene.

Cutting Edge Tree Services was hired to remove the tree the first thing Monday morning.

"We haven't been able to do a full assessment of the damage," SANDAHL said. "However, they've got everything off the roof."

Bergo Construction was assessing the roof damage Monday and would do any necessary repairs to the rubber membrane roof to ensure the house is water-tight, SANDAHL said.

"From the ground, it looks like some of the copper flashing above the second-floor bathroom windows is damaged and there is what appears to be minor damage to the stucco where the tree trunk is resting and where the crown of the tree scraped the side of the house," SANDAHL said. "The crown of the tree also appears to have hit the chimney for the living room fireplace."

This morning, the city electrician will inspect the mast and meter and get the service ready for Alliant to reconnect the power line and re-energize the house.

"Once we get the power back on, we'll do an interior assessment to see if there is any interior damage due to the roof damage and the rain we’ve had over the past two days," SANDAHL said.

One of the conditions of the city's funding for the project is that trees on the buyout properties be retained wherever possible.

"The initial plan was to cut the house loose and slide it to the east to avoid removing this tree," SANDAHL said. "Now that it is going to be gone, the house can come straight out to Seventh Street Northeast."

Cutting Edge owner Kevin HARDY said he has contacted a local woodworker who can use the main body of the tree for cabinetry or other items.

Smaller pieces are being cut up for firewood and mulch. Free mulch and firewood will be available to the public at 400 N. Monroe Ave., HARDY said.

Egloff House In Better Days

~ ~ ~ ~

The Republic
Columbus, Indiana
November 20, 2013
The Associated Press

Group commits to move, preserve rare
'international style' house in Mason City

MASON CITY, Iowa — A nonprofit group is pledging to move a unique flood-damaged home in Mason City that had been threatened with demolition.

The Globe Gazette reported Wednesday that members of the group Community Benefit-Mason City committed to moving the Egloff House, which was severely damaged in the 2008 flood.

Project coordinator Kirk Johnson said the move will probably occur next spring, and it won't be cheap. Johnson declined to estimate the moving cost, but others at a Tuesday gathering said it will be in the six figures.

The house, built in 1938 by William and Margaret Egloff, is an example of the international style, which featured an unornamented look with flat roofs and smooth walls. Few such homes were built in Iowa in the 1930s.

The city bought the house from owners Dale and Susan Armstrong as part of a flood buyout program for $314,000. Most structures bought through the program were slated for removal, but officials have long hoped the Egloff House could be moved and saved.

This photo taken on April 17, 2103, shows the exterior of the Egloff House in Mason City, Iowa, that was damaged by flooding in 2008. A nonprofit group is pledging to move the unique home that had been threatened with demolition. Built in 1938, the house is an example of the international style, which featured an unornamented look with flat roofs and smooth walls. (AP Photo/The Globe-Gazette, Jeff Heinz)Community Benefit-Mason City plans to move the house to a location between the Historic Park Inn and the Stockman House, both designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Atlas Enterprises, Forest City, will move the house. The house will be moved in two parts and then reassembled, Johnson said.

Sue Anne Hadacek, of Atlas, called the job, "not a small undertaking."

Iowa Community Development, a private organization that helps smaller cities compete for federal tax credits, is assisting in the project. Iowa Community Development President Dan Robeson said his group got involved because members realized Mason City had become a "must-see" destination for people interested in architecture.

Photographs courtesy of Globe Gazette

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2012



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