Austin Block, now The Thoughtfulness
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper
This 25 foot by 85 foot two-story Sioux quartzite building was
constructed by P. H. Theil in 1902 for J. H. Austin. The historic
building is notable for its checkerboard-patterned frieze made from
alternating pieces of Jasper and Sioux quartzite, and for its Jasper
quartzite belt course. Austin's Confectionery operated in this building
from its inception in 1902 until Austin's bankruptcy in 1914. The
1893 Columbian Exposition introduced many Americans to a machine
which mass-produced candies or "confectioneries." Confectioneries,
like Austin's, during this time also sold items other than sweets,
such as tobacco and other foodstuffs.
Over the years, the building became home to a number of different
businesses including a hospital run by Dr. Richards in the 1920s,
and a grocery store, which inhabited the space
Historic image of the Austin Block,
Courtesy of Pipestone County Historical Society
for 26 years. Apartments and other professional offices once occupied
the second floor, but now are vacant. Several barbershops and ice
cream and candy factories have also occupied the basement level.
The facade of the building has changed when red tiles replaced the
transom lights and aluminum siding once covered the first floor
facade. Despite these alterations, the building remains important
to the city of Pipestone.
The J. H. Austin Block is located at 124 West Main St., Pipestone.
Now the Thoughtfulness Shop, it is open during regular business