Peter Contralto Block


by Kiel Vanderhovel and Derek Dykens

Architect: Cowles & Eastman
Location: Corner of Second and Hecla Street, Laurium
Built: 1900

Contralto Block. Photograph by Derek Dykens, 2006.

As announced in the newspaper, Peter Contralto planned to spend $10,000 on a two-story commercial building. The building would be 50 feet in width and 60 feet in depth. The possible uses for the Contralto Building could be a store, saloon, or offices because of the interior spatial arrangement.1 Cowles & Eastman designed this building for Contralto which is currently being used as an apartment complex.

The main entrance to the building is on the corner, surmounted by a round tower. Large store windows at ground level have been filled in. Three-part windows illuminate the second floor. The walls are rough-faced Jacobsville sandstone. The cornice has been removed.

Contralto Block. Photograph by Derek Dykens, 2006.


  1. Kathryn Bishop Eckert, “The Sandstone Architecture of the Lake Superior Region” (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1982), 449.