Modernistic Architecture in Rock Island, Part 2
This summer morning Stacey and I walked with our dog a few blocks from our house to study and photograph a few modernistic buildings. The one that most shows off the modernistic style is the fabulously and futuristically named Bear Actionalysis Diagnostic Test Center at 2103 5th Avenue. The building was dedicated in 1937. The company built gauges, balancers, spinners, and other testing and safety equipment for servicing vehicles.
According to the 1997 document Rock Island’s Modernistic Architecture (Rock Island Preservation Commission), the building lacks much of its original design integrity. For example, the fenestration has undergone many changes, particularly on the lower floor.
But the swooping curves of metal siding and the large aluminum awnings create an effect that recalls the streamlined industrial designs of locomotives, ships, and airplanes of the era.