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Built in 1901 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the German Bank was one of five Main Street businesses that sustained structural damage during the construction of an adjacent parking ramp in 2001. Just one week later, it was ravaged by a devastating fire and stood vacant until restoration efforts began in 2007.


The German Bank has one of the most distinctive façades in the City—an ornate design created from white terra cotta, glazed with a porcelain-like finish. Known locally as the Silver Dollar Cantina, this building served as a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike for decades—even while the surrounding buildings fell deeper into disrepair.


The $1.6 million project meticulously restored the façade of the building as well as completely rehabilitated the interior, restoring and/or repairing all character-defining features spared by the fire. Using a combination of old and new, the rehabilitation allowed for more dining space and a larger entertainment area. Miraculously, two upper floor spacious apartments were spared much of the fire and structural damage and were also restored to near-original condition, each with hardwood flooring and fireplaces.


Completion Date: 2008

Size: 6,500 Total SF

Location: Dubuque, IA

Type of Project: Mix-use; Commercial on 1st Level and 2 Apartments of Floors 2-3

Gronen Responsibility: Contractor Façade Restoration

Total Development Cost: $1.6 million

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