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Joseph Sartori House


Cedar Falls
603 Clay Street


Joseph Sartori, Sr. came to Cedar Falls in the late 1850s. He was a native German, only 24 years of age, but a skilled mason and stonecutter. He soon established himself as a successful contractor and real estate investor. He later served as vice president of the State Bank of Cedar Falls. Sartori purchased the land for this house from Dempsey Overman and Edwin Brown. He began work in the late 1860s, doing all the masonry himself.

The house is considered a late Gothic Revival, although it shows some Italianate influence. The arches above the windows are made of iron, though such arches were usually made of stone. They fit so carefully they resemble wood. The beautiful wooden filigree of the gables is one of the best local examples of this architectural detail.

Inside, the original entry hall is still graced by a curving black walnut staircase. The living room to the left as you come in features a white Italian marble fireplace. Refurbished beginning in 1993, renovations continue. The house is a private residence.

Sartori Hospital in Cedar Falls was built in honor of Sartori and his wife, Theresa. Their son, Joseph Jr., a prominent Los Angeles banker, saw to it that his father's bequest of $25,000 was used for construction of the original hospital building in 1915.

In addition to the house and hospital, another reminder of the Sartori’s is a bell that hangs in Cedar Falls' Trinity United Methodist Church. The bell with the name "Sartori" cast in it was the result of Mrs. Sartori's dying request to her husband.

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Last updated Wednesday, June 23, 2004

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