The West Amana General Store was built in 1862, and retains much of its original appearance despite its varied uses over the years. As a general store, it supplied community members and people from surrounding towns with goods. The general stores in Upper South Amana, Homestead, West Amana, and Amana served as hubs of business for large areas surrounding those towns.
The Amana villages differed greatly from other areas in Iowa due to their homogeneous communal homes and the uniformity of the architecture among diverse types of buildings. There was a unique simplicity and similarity of the Amana buildings and the spaces surrounding them. The Inspirationists of Amana used only one standard design for residential, industrial, and institutional buildings. Because of the non-competitive, self-reliant philosophies of Amana society, there were no commercial establishments other than the general store where each member received a yearly allowance for merchandise.
Beginning in the 1970s, the Amana Society leased the West Amana General Store and it has operated primarily as an antique store. In the 1980s, the West Amana post office was also located at the store for a short time.