SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Iowa City: 1940

Iowa City: 1940

February 1940: The main street in Iowa City, Iowa. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

67 years later

Here's a pic of the same location taken 12/20/07.

[Wow. Amazing. Thanks so much! - Dave]

Current pic upcoming

I'll do that Dave, Thursday morning! - Jeff

[Thanks Jeff! - Dave]

Ridge Road

Yep, Ridge and Whiting, plus a lot of zigging and zagging on streets I've forgotten. It felt like one had to go five miles to travel those four blocks, or half way to West Branch.

Iowa, Illinois and Missouri got pummeled by Mother Nature that summer. It was quite impressive, to say the least. I remember seeing a contemporary satellite image showing ground saturation, and the entire state of Iowa was indistinguishable from a lake or ocean.

Iowa City location

This is Washington Street, camera facing west at the intersection with Clinton Street. The building behind the elm trees is Shaeffer Hall -- the SW corner of the University of Iowa's Pentacrest. Behind Shaeffer is McLean Hall.

I've lived in Iowa City for 49 years, and I work at the University.


[Thanks! You what would be great? A current photo taken from the same spot. - Dave]

3) Ridge Road?

As a former/current part time cab driver, I'll start with number three. Ridge Road would make the most sense, as you can access it via the relative high ground of Whiting Avenue.

Iowa City quiz

Ow! I just got hurt patting myself on the back. ;)

Just kidding on the landmarks and geography quiz, but what the heck:

1) Besides "Field of Dreams," Iowa City author W.P. Kinsella wrote a fantasy novel called " The Iowa Baseball Conspiracy." What famous landmark played outfield exceptionally well?

2) In 1927 and 1929 an Iowa graduate was the only black player in the NFL? A U of I building is named after him. Who was he?

3) It's 1993 and much of the town is under water because the Iowa River flooded for several months. N. Dubuque St. from Park Rd. to Mayflower Residence Hall was closed. How would one drive the four blocks from Park to the apartments at 1122 N. Dubuque (adjacent to Mayflower). Warning: this is nearly a "you can't get there from here" question.

Have fun.

Iowa City

100 block of East Washington Street, facing west. I scoped this out downtown today, and scribe's first call seems to be right. The university building in the background would be Schaeffer Hall. Basically this shot is 180 degrees from the one posted earlier.

I'm looking forward to the quiz on IC landmarks!

300 block of Washington St.


You could be right. My mental map of Iowa City has faded with time, and for the life of me I can't remember what's across Washington from Gabe's other than the old Press-Citizen Building that's just out of view to the right.

If this is Washington at Gilbert, what are the big buildings behind the trees?


Rather narsty weather that day!

Iowa City

I'm not sure, but this may be East Washington Street again, facing the opposite direction from the earlier photo that included the Englert Theater. The buildings in the background behind the trees are part of the U. Of Iowa campus at South Clinton Street.

(There will be a quiz on Iowa City geography and landmarks tomorrow.)

300 block of Washington Street

Some research suggests that this is the 300 block of East Washington Street--facing east with South Gilbert Street as the visible cross street.

Boerner's seems to be where Gabe's/The Picador now sits.

Iowa City

I'm curious where this is as there is currently no Main Street in Iowa City. Perchance it is what is now College Street?

[Could be. Maybe he was using the term generically. Actually he didn't capitalize the "street." I've changed the caption to reflect that. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.