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[graphic] The "L"
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Main St. facade of The "L"--today the lobby for the Pipestone Performing Arts Center
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper

In 1897, Leon Moore, who also constructed the Moore Block at 102 E. Main St., built a Sioux quartzite building at 104 E. Main St. and 107 S. Hiawatha Ave. in the shape of an "L" around Moore's corner store. It featured a double facade of Sioux quartzite with two main entrances. Unfortunately, the S. Hiawatha portion of the building no longer exists. The front facade featured relief sculptures on the two pilasters adorning its entry. A dry cleaning establishment occupied the store from 1930 to 1966 when a fire burned through the west store on S. Hiawatha, leaving a vacant lot.

The 104 E. Main St. building features two recessed areas on the upper north facade. A polished stone to the west has the word "MOORE" carved into it. The main feature of the north facade is the polychromatic effect created by the use of light and dark shades of Sioux quartzite. The facade is embellished with stone finials and a sandstone relief sculpture of an angel holding two infants. The sculpture has deteriorated over the years, partly due to the softness of the stone and partly to a mistake made by its creator. Moore, a self-taught sculptor, carved the stone on the wrong grain, causing it to gradually erode.


[rotating images] Two historic images of The "L"--one view of the Main St. facade, c.1911, and a view of both entrances visible on on either side of the Moore Block
Courtesy of Pipestone County Museum

A grocery store and a bar later occupied the north store on E. Main St. until 1958, when it was annexed to the S&L store to the east. At this time, the north facade was modernized with large maroon tiles. The 1966 fire that completely destroyed the west building heavily damaged the north store, but the damage was repaired. In 1993 the building was converted into the lobby for the new Pipestone Performing Arts Center, which occupies this building and the one to the east. At that time, the front facade underwent a complete rehabilitation.

The "L" is located at 104 E. Main St., Pipestone and is open to the public during performances at the Performing Arts Center and by appointment. The box office number is 507-825-2020. Bus groups and tours can call 507-825-5537.

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