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GREYSTONE. The magnificent home of Dubuque industrialist Augustin A. COOPER was constructed at 540 Bluff. The Greystone had four floors and thirty-five rooms finished in such woods as maple, cherry and mahogany. Patterns in the flooring were formed using different species of hardwoods. An elevator in the residence and intercom system made the home unparalleled for its time. Ceilings were 18 feet high, doors were handcarved, and windows were stained glass or beveled.
The Greystone faced Bluff at Fifth street. The covered carriage entrance on the north side was designed so that anyone arriving by carriage stepped directly to the main floor without stepping down to street level. A carriage house was located behind and southwest of the residence adjacent to the rock wall that supports Fifth Street. It offered upstairs rooms for the hired help and an office for Cooper.
In 1894 Cooper undertook one of the city's most elaborate private heating projects. The Dubuque Herald announced that he was installing two large boilers on the lot opposite his house. The size of one was considered sufficient, but the second was installed for emergencies. From these boilers, steam heat would be provided for his own house and four others-- for the house of his daughter, Mrs. Waller, and the new house she is erecting; and the single building but two residences opposite his own-- one occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Sullivan and the other to be leased by her. Together these later became known as REDSTONE (THE). (2)
In 1956, the Greystone was demolished to create space for a parking lot. The process proved difficult as the building was made of granite with only one wooden partition. Others partitions were brick and tile with wire lathing. (3)
The only remnant of the Greystone and the carriage house is part of a low concrete wall with a rounded top that marked the property boundaries. It is claimed that some stones were taken to Raymond Place where they were reused in two foundations.
1. Fischer, Katherine. E-mail. March 23, 2016
2. "Municipal Molecules," Dubuque Daily Herald, October 12, 1894, p. 4
3. "And the Walls Come Tumbling Down," Telegraph Herald, November 4, 1956, p. 24
"Our Spirited Years," Telegraph Herald, 1976