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Old 06-22-2010, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Here&There
2,209 posts, read 3,767,429 times
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Which city(ies)/town(s) in Iowa have the best character? Character as in old charming buildings, e.g. victorian or anything built before the 40's; also the people, the scenery.

I ask because I'm a painter out here in Cali and I've been contemplating if the place/locale matters for developing my work. I'm swaying towards that it doesn't matter as long as you have the space you believe you need and big cities do not offer those cheap and not to mention the cost of living. I've been looking all over smaller cities in the U.S. that might offer cheap unique buildings and by cheap I figure a 100k, roughly.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
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Burlington, Iowa by all accounts is a great setting along the Mississippi River and has tons of great old architecture. It is economically depressed however and I think that can wear on outsiders after a while. Look into Dubuque or Decorah too.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
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I agree with DMRyan's suggestions, especially Dubuque.

I also think that Iowa City has quite a bit of character, especially around downtown and the Northside. I also find the mix of people you find walking around to be interesting, especially downtown on the Ped Mall. You'll see college students, aging hippies, young families, and basically everyone else, all in one place. There is also a significant art community with the University's art school, several galleries downtown, quarterly gallery walks, and the Iowa Arts Festival.

You might also be able to find some inspiration in a smaller, perhaps more depressed town, of which there are plenty. I find something about small-town Iowa very interesting, personally. I am always interested to see how once-beautiful buildings have fallen into disrepair. But that's just me, you would have to see one for yourself. It would also be much cheaper as far as cost of living is concerned, but you probably won't find any other artists in most smaller towns. (I'm really thinking of southern Iowa here because that's what I'm most familiar with. Chariton is a good example of a town that once had a wealthy population and now looks sort of run-down now that many of the jobs have left. Burlington is another.)
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Des Moines
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There are some great Eastern Iowa towns in Grant Wood Country between Dubuque and Cedar Rapids--Independence, Anamosa and Mount Vernon come to mind.

LeClaire and Bellevue on the Mississippi are also pretty cool, historic towns.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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Take a second look at Burlington, It seems to be on a slow rebound. New music venue, apartments, and restaurants have been popping up or in the planning the next few years. Also real estate is really Cheap
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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It has a very European feel. The only thing that plagues it are the poor attitudes of the residents. Also take a look at fairfield
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Here&There
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aye thanks. will look into it. also i forgot to add, are these cities safe?
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVitamin View Post
aye thanks. will look into it. also i forgot to add, are these cities safe?
Yes. Safety is one of the last things you would have to worry about in Iowa. A lot of people here don't even lock their doors. (Which I do NOT encourage. But it happens.)
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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+1 for Dubuque
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Here&There
2,209 posts, read 3,767,429 times
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I can't seem to find pictures of Burlington to really make any judgments on. I've done some research on Dubuque, it looks amazing. I found some great buildings for sale, so cheap too. Anyone have any pictures of Dubuque or other places that were mentioned, no google pictures because I've already done that.

Thanks for everyone's contribution.

BTW, someone should start a "Burlington Photos" thread and a "Dubuque Photo" thread.

Last edited by BVitamin; 06-24-2010 at 11:13 PM..
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