A few weeks ago, I found myself down in LaPorte City for work. We were driving around town looking for a new listing we were going to tour, when I suddenly saw it... Our house! Except it was white and just a little different architecturally. I made a note of the address and was excited by the idea of looking it up later!
I actually kind of forgot about it until last week when I was looking up information for application to be on the National Register of Historic Places (a future goal, perhaps). I spent a little time checking out the properties listed in Black Hawk County, and was a surprised to see our "sister" house on the Register. It's known as the Gingrich House and was designed by local architect John G. Ralston and built in 1916. Other locally significant structures designed by Mr. Ralston and also on the Register include: The Black Hawk Hotel (the major renovations in the early 1900's), Black Hawk Co. Soldier's Memorial Hall in downtown Waterloo, the Emerson School in Waterloo, the Whittier School just a block from our house, and both the East and West Branch of the Waterloo Public Library. Right now, I have no idea if he was the designer of our house as well, but it seems that it's at least a possibility!
Today Chris and I decided to take a little trip down to LaPorte City and see if the owners would let us take a few pictures of the house so we could better compare it to ours. I can only imagine how strange she must have thought we were... :) We talked for a little bit and I explained that I had driven by the house and thought it was eerily similar to ours. We described ours a little, pointed out some of the differences, and invited them to stop by sometime when they are in town. She kindly agreed to let us take some pictures outside, and while we were walking around the house, she came back out and invited us to come in and see the main floor. The houses are laid out differently inside, the main factor being our stairs are right in the middle of the house, and theirs are on the side. Without the stairs in the middle, their living room and dining room are HUGE!! The woodwork is a different style, but there's probably just as much of it. They have only lived there for a few months, but I'm sure they too will enjoy their beautiful home (and all the work that comes with it, hahaha) for years to come.