About the Building

The Dove Block was constructed in 1878 by William G. Dove, a brick-maker and contractor. The three story structure has a cast iron storefront which is highly ornate. The Dove Block is significant historically and to the fabric of downtown Geneva:

  • Architecturally it is an excellent and intact example of a High Victorian commercial block.
  • Arthur Dove, son of the builder, was America’s first Abstract Expressionist painter who lived and worked in the building’s third floor during his most prolific period.
  • It is the defining corner at the “gateway” to downtown Geneva.

For more than a hundred years, the Dove Block served as a store-front for a number of Geneva’s businesses on the first floor. On the upper floors, at various times, it was an auditorium, a National Guard drill hall, a roller skating rink, a host for professional wrestling and boxing matches, a radio station, and a dance hall.  For a time in the 1890s, the block was known as “Dove’s Opera House,” a performance venue for touring opera and acting troupes.

The group’s vision for the building’s reclamation has two key aspects.  The plan is to allocate the first two floors to commercial enterprises. The third floor will be reserved for establishing a museum to honor Arthur Dove, one of America’s greatest abstract painters.

If you would like to join us to “Save the Dove”, we invite your participation.

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