Preservation Iowa focuses on specific preservation concerns as a way to help preserve property types with special significance to Iowans. Barns, Country Schools, Movie Theatres, and Sacred Places are buildings that every Iowan knows and loves. Preservation also plays an important part in Disaster Recovery and Main Street Development. Learn about these specific preservation initiatives on these pages.
Barns and Farmsteads
Preservation Iowa board member Rod Scott is a strong advocate for preserving Iowa’s historic barns. His efforts resulted in 2005 being declared as “The Year of The Barn and the Family Farm” by Governor Tom Vilsak, a new question being included on the Census of Agriculture regarding the number of barns built before 1960, and children across the state learning how to survey their local historic barns. Preservation Iowa’s barn survey began in 2005. This county-level survey is a simple photographic/reconnaissance survey that local volunteers can complete with local funds. Learn more about Preservation Iowa’s efforts to preserve the “Prairie Cathedral”.
Preservation Iowa board member William Sherman is the organization’s resident expert on country schools and organizes a statewide country school conference each fall, bringing together country school preservationists from across the Midwest. Preservation Iowa is dedicated to preserving this American icon. Be sure to review our Country School museum directory and find out more about how you can help preserve one and two-room country schools in Iowa.
Preservation Iowa is partnering with the State Historic Preservation Office, Main Street Iowa, and the Iowa Tourism Office to learn more about Iowa’s movie houses and the state’s connections to Hollywood. This will be a multi-year, multi-phase project concentrating primarily on properties built for or associated with the movies before 1970. Check out Preservation Iowa’s movie theater page to see how the project progresses.
Preservation Iowa has been consulting with Partners for Sacred Places on ways to assist disaster-affected sacred places in Cedar Rapids and across the state. Partners for Sacred Places is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the sound stewardship and active community use of America’s older religious properties. During the summer of 2009, Preservation Iowa enlisted Zak Hingst from Iowa City to help assess flood damage to Cedar Rapids sacred places. Learn about the results of his assessment on our sacred places page.
During Spring and Summer 2008, severe weather across Iowa caused substantial damage to Iowa’s historic resources. Since then, Preservation Iowa has been working with the State Historical Society of Iowa, Main Street Iowa, 1000 Friends of Iowa, the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to identify needs and assist historic property owners in all affected areas of the state. This initiative will help Iowans recover from the 2008 disaster and hopefully provide us with the tools to respond better in future disasters. Learn about the work we’ve done thus far on our disaster recovery page.