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SIOUX CITY | The Romanesque-style home once inhabited by John Peirce wows Sioux City residents and visitors alike.

The Peirce Mansion, at 2901 Jackson St., served as the site of the Sioux City Public Museum from 1961 to 2011 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Real estate developer John Peirce began construction on the mansion in 1891. Charles P. Brown, who designed the 1890 Corn Palace, served as the mansion's architect. The 21-room house's exterior walls are composed of South Dakota quartzite.

A library and main room are located on the first-floor. Shelves are lined with antique china and glass work, while black-and-white photographs and painted portraits adorn the walls.

The second floor has a bride's room, which is equipped with a fireplace and painted light pink. The nursery is filled with vintage dolls and toys. It also houses a groom's room and master bedroom.

The third floor is a spacious ballroom with a wood floor and colorful stained glass windows.

Peirce ended up raffling off the house in a rigged lottery. He left for Seattle after losing his fortune.

The Junior League of Sioux City purchased the house for $10,000 in 1958. In 1959, the organization donated it to the city to use as a cultural building. Volunteers from the Sioux City Museum and Historical Association renovated the mansion's interior.

The mansion is open to the public for quarterly open house events and it also serves as a venue for weddings, receptions, family gatherings and private parties. Up to 200 people have attended each open house.

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Health and Lifestyles reporter

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