Mini Grant Applications Due Nov 18

Preservation Iowa is proud to honor individuals, organizations, projects, and programs whose work demonstrates a commitment to excellence in historic preservation. In doing so, we hope to inspire others to take action to preserve, protect, and promote historic resources. We are delighted at this time to engage with interested parties in applying for the first round of the Historic Iowa Country School Mini-Grant.

Project awards for this new grant will be presented during the annual Country School Preservation Conference. Winning projects will be awarded a onetime grant, as limited by availability, from Preservation Iowa. These projects will be highlighted on the Preservation Iowa website and Facebook pages with press releases to go out to the winning nominee’s community.

Eligibility

Click here do DOWNLOAD the mini grant application form. See below for application instructions.

Click here do DOWNLOAD the mini grant application form. See below for application instructions.

Grant applications will be distributed at the annual Country School Preservation conference and can also be obtained from the Preservation Iowa by contacting director@preservationiowa.org and will be available on our webpage at www.preservationiowa.org under initiatives. Nominated projects must be located within the geographic boundaries of Iowa and work on this project must be currently under way and considered in need of funding.

Grants awarded must be used within 12 months of their awarded date. Unused funds within this dedicated time frame will be forfeited back into Preservation Iowa Mini- Grant fund for use in the next round of Grant administration. Nominations can be made by/for individual owners, corporations, development groups, or organizations. Property owner(s) must be notified, before submission of property/project, so they can be notified of the nomination status.

Mini-Grant – Funding may be used for preservation or restoration of Iowa one and two room country schools, country school grounds, interpretive programing to be used by these country school to educate visitors on the historical significance and tradition of Iowa’s historic country schools, or other matters of historic country school significance.

This grant may include funding for structural, foundational, electrical, plumbing, roofing, masonry, furnishing, education, or other historic restoration as defined by the Grants Administrative Board. The Mini-Grant amount will vary year to year from $200-$1,000. This is dependent upon the amount of funding raised from the annual country school conference less expenses which are covered. This grant shall be used only to fund work or projects completed after the Award date.

Participant requirement – Additionally awardees will be expected to present a summary of their projects at the following annual school house conference to explain how Mini-Grant funds were used.

Judging

Preservation Iowa invites a jury of experienced preservations which will review nominations. This specialized panel of judges will decide how to allocate these funds by deciding first which projects have completed thorough grant applications. Projects will be judged on degree of historic preservation excellence, community impact, quality of work completed, and the potential for the timely completion of the project. Projects not awarded will be allowed to resubmit projects yearly as long as they fall within Grant parameters. It is important to note that usually only one grant will be awarded each year.

Entry Guidelines

One (1) nomination packet should be submitted for jurors’ review, and should include:

 Completed nomination form (DOWNLOAD NOMINATION FORM PDF)

 A typed narrative, no longer than 750 words, describing the project. The narrative should clearly address each of the following:

  • The beginning and projected ending date of the project.
  • Description of before condition and historic significance of the building. Include building’s square footage and building construction date
  • Description of work or program completed.
  • Project challenges and creative solutions.
  • The project’s long range impact on the neighborhood/community.
  • Accomplishments or contributions (if individual or organizational award)
  • Description of project funding.
  • Intended use of Mini-Grant Funding
  • Other supporting information

 At least 2 and no more than 6 photographs documenting the project, including before and after images which may be submitted as:

  • High resolution digital images are preferred (.jpg). Digital images can be submitted by email.
  • Where necessary please include photo credits.

Nomination Fee

There are no nomination fees.

Submission

One (1) copy of the nomination packet described above should be submitted via email. Digital images and nominations may be emailed to director@preservationiowa.org. Any additional questions may be directed to Bill Sherman, Iowa Country School Preservationist, at wsherman41@gmail.com or Caleb Giesel, Executive Director Preservation Iowa, at 319.526.8474 or director@preservationiowa.org.

DEADLINE: Friday November 18, 2016

Submitted materials will not be returned. Submission to the Iowa Historic Country School Mini-Grant provides Preservation Iowa permission to use materials in organization promotional materials.

Preservation Iowa Newsletter – Fall 2016

We would like to welcome you to the fall 2016 edition of the Preservation Iowa new letter. We are glad to have you join us in staying up to date with a several important events that are upcoming and also those which have already occurred. We will be introducing topics of interest for the 2016 Country School Preservation Conference and 2016 Mini-Grant, Preservation initiatives around Des Moines, follow up on the 2016 Preserve Iowa Summit and the Preservation at its Best Awards Ceremony, FY2016 State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, and more.

President’s Remarks

The year has been filled with forward motion for historic preservation in Iowa. Changes in the State Historic Tax Credit program have been generally very positive. The State of Iowa continues to fund State Historic Preservation Tax Credits with nearly 33 million dollars allocated in 2016-2017.

Preservation Iowa has continued to successfully reach its members and communities through a new and much improved preservation Iowa Website, Newsletters, grant programs, and other resources.
The conventional wisdom is beginning to regard the ethic of restore, revitalize, and reuse historic structures in Iowa. Gradually we see communities embrace this idea over new construction.

The statewide Preservation Summit held in Davenport, Iowa was well attended and included excellent content as well as wonderful social opportunities. Very good work by the staff at the State Historic Preservation Office, Preservation Iowa, and the host community of Davenport.

As I have visited with folks around the state of Iowa I am always pleasantly surprised how much work is being successfully accomplished under the banner of historic preservation. Iowans really are quietly leading the way in this arena.

There are many issues to be addressed and much work to be done in Iowa. Preservation Iowa and its members would like to see the following issues advanced next year.

  • Archive management, Newsprints saved, and microfilm collections restored and expanded.
    Research/Library facilities in Iowa City and Des Moines properly funded and staffed.
  • Further improvement in the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit arena as the planned transition occurs between the Iowa Department of Revenue and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
  • Increased funding for REAP and specifically for HRDP projects, like creation of historic districts and maintenance and catalogue efforts for various historic artifacts.
  • Expanded funding for State Capital grounds and memorials maintenance.

These and many other items are on Preservation Iowa’s agenda for the next 12 months. Won’t you please join forces with us by becoming a member and by being an advocate for preservation efforts in your communities.

Kevin J. Kuckelman, President
Preservation Iowa

2017 Most Endangered Properties Nominations
The call for nominations for the 2017 Most Endangered Properties listing will be released in mid-October. Please take time to consider listing your own endangered property or helping someone to list theirs. For more information visit the Most Endangered Properties nomination webpage.

 

2017 Mini Grant Application to be Released Soon

Preservation Iowa will plan to give awards, to recipients of the January 2016 allocation, for the second round of its Mini-Grant at the historic country school house conference.

We will be releasing more detailed information to attendees at that time about the January 2017 allocation of funding. Preservation Iowa plans to release a call for nominations and application to the MiniGrant on October 17, 2016. You can also find out more about this new initiative by contacting Preservation Iowa at director@preservationiowa.org.


Country School Preservation

Country school preservation is progressing in Iowa. New books have been written.  Major school preservation projects are underway and a new goggle map showing the locations of current and past country school locations in Iowa has been created.

The two hot spots for country school preservation are in O’Brien county and Scott County.

An 89 year-old preservationist-Harold Tuttle—has created the first country school four-plex in Iowa.  He has coordinated the move of four one-room schools and has created the Prairie Arts Historical Park on the edge of Sheldon to house the schools.

Joining Tuttle in the effort to preserve country school history is a 17-year-old high school senior—Wesley Peters.  He has produced the latest county history of rural schools: “These Four walls: The History of O’Brien County Rural Schools.” Peters did extensive interviews, library research and reviewed historic maps to produce this publication. Peters has also created a Google map that marks the location of more than 3,000 school building in Iowa.

There have been approximately 20 county country school histories compiled in Iowa.  Work is underway for this type of history in Hancock, Johnson and Lee Counties.

Sandra Host of Council Bluffs has produced a statewide history:  “Iowa History of the One-Room School 1870-1950.”  Host is the author of the Iowa rural Schools Museum in Odebolt.  Her book is beautifully illustrated with four-color photos of country school artifacts.  It would be a valuable resource for anyone who has or is restoring a country school building.

In Scott County two women are leading the way with country school preservation.  Deborah Leistikow is the site manager of the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village supported by the Scott County Conservation Board.  Leistikow has created a new history for the Walnut Grove building, which became one of the first school museums in Iowa.  This 19 building complex is largest historical village in Iowa.  It is located near Eldridge.

A few miles away near Bettendorfs, Sharon Andresen is coordinating efforts to restore the Forest Grove School.  She has helped raise more than $100,000 to bring this abandoned school back to life.


The Barn Raisers

The Iowa premier showing of new barn preservation documentary will be held at the Johnston Public Library on Saturday Nov. 5 at 2p.m. The program called “The Barn Raisers” was produced by Fourth Wall Films based in Moline, Il.  The program describes efforts to preserve barns in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and other midwestern states.  The Iowa showing is sponsored in part by Humanities Iowa.  There is no charge to attend. The Johnston Library is located at 6700 Merle Hay Road approximately two miles north of the Interstate 80 Merle Hay Road exit near Des Moines.


Teaching Historic Preservation at Iowa State University

Teaching historic preservation at Iowa State University

Teaching historic preservation at Iowa State University

By Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock

Preservation Iowa Board Member & Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the College of Design, Iowa State University

Historic preservation education has a long history at Iowa State University, perhaps longer than many people realize.  Preservation classes have been offered here intermittently for three decades.  Most of these were taught by architecture faculty and focused on materials and technologies, and introduced students to the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings with the Secretary of the Interior’sStandards in mind.  Professor Arvid Osterberg’s class “Preservation, Restoration, and Rehabilitation” is emblematic of this.  First taught in the mid-1980s, he continues to teach this popular class today.  Many other preservation classes in various departments are now in the course catalog and more will come.

read more…


Tax Credits Spur Investment in Projects Across Iowa

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced that more than $32 million in historic preservation tax credits have been registered for 14 different projects in eight communities across the state for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

The State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit program provides an income tax credit of up to 25 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs for the preservation of historic buildings that are on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Today’s announcement of $32,756,071 in tax credits is 25 percent of $139,471,025 in qualified rehabilitation costs associated with the 14 projects. The total investment in the projects, including qualified and non-qualified rehabilitation costs, is $160,819,572.

read more…

 

 

Tax Credits Spur Investment in Projects Across Iowa

Dome in the main sanctuary, Temple B'nai Jeshurun, Des Moines

Dome in the main sanctuary, Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Des Moines

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced that more than $32 million in historic preservation tax credits have been registered for 14 different projects in eight communities across the state for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

The State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit program provides an income tax credit of up to 25 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs for the preservation of historic buildings that are on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Today’s announcement of $32,756,071 in tax credits is 25 percent of $139,471,025 in qualified rehabilitation costs associated with the 14 projects. The total investment in the projects, including qualified and non-qualified rehabilitation costs, is $160,819,572.

“We continue to support our partners in historic preservation by registering nearly $33 million in tax credits for their projects,” DCA’s Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Steve King said. “These tax credits are a catalyst for historic preservation, quality of life, economic development and job opportunities in Iowa communities.”

The State Historic Preservation Office is overseen by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. It ensures historic rehabilitation projects that receive tax credits adhere to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Due to legislative changes that will be effective Aug. 15, the Iowa Economic Development Authority will partner with DCA and its SHPO division to administer the Historic Tax Credit program, which involves reviewing applications and awarding tax credit certificates for registered projects.

Burlington
Chittenden and Eastman Commercial Building
The four-story Chittenden and Eastman Building in Burlington’s Downtown Commercial Historic District was built in 1896 and features Classical Revival details, including a decorative metal cornice. The limestone foundation, buff brick facade and red brick side for the remaining walls reflect the Chicago School style that was popular in the 1890s. The upper floors have been vacant while the main level had limited use in recent years as a reception hall and event center. The adaptive reuse of this building will allow for commercial activity on the first floor and apartments above.
$475,147

Burlington
Tama Building
The Tama Building was designed by Burlington architect J.C. Sunderland and was constructed in 1896. The design of the building shows the influence of the Chicago School, particularly in how the five stories are organized in a tripartite arrangement with lower, middle and upper sections. The building originally housed retail space on the first floor and 50 offices for doctors, dentists, real estate agents and dressmakers were located in the floors above.  The building will be rehabilitated into apartments on the upper floors and commercial space on the first floor.
$734,957

Cedar Rapids
Iowa Wind Mill and Pump Company Office and Warehouse / Mott Lofts
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, the Iowa Wind Mill and Pump Company Office and Warehouse were originally constructed in 1902. The three-story brick building features heavy timber supports and framing, plus a massive limestone foundation. The high ceilings and open floor-plan allowed the original company to store and move its products as needed. The building is the only remaining part of the company’s larger original complex, which played a role in Cedar Rapids’ late 19th- and early 20th-century industrial history. Having survived numerous floods, the vacant property will soon be reused for 16 luxury apartments on the upper two floors and commercial space on the first floor.
$1,094,471

Cedar Rapids
Welch-Cook-Beals Company Building
This six-story warehouse stands in the heart of the Cedar Rapids Downtown Commercial Historic District. Built in 1909, the building’s distinctive overhanging eaves, a box cornice, brick pilasters, and Prairie Style masonry house an interior space supported by a distinctive structure of reinforced concrete and mushroom pillars, known as the Turner System. The Welch-Cook (later Welch-Cook-Beals) Company was the city’s only dry goods wholesaler for many years, remaining in business into the 1960s.The building has been vacant since the 2008 floods but will soon provide housing on the upper floors and retail space on the first floor.
$3,370,488

Cedar Rapids
Monroe Elementary School
Monroe Elementary School was built in 1961 to meet Cedar Rapids’ educational needs during the city’s post-World War II baby boom. The building’s flat roof, large expanses of windows that establish a relationship between the classrooms and the exterior space, and linear plan are all hallmarks of mid-20th century architectural design. The building was listed on the National Register in 2015 and will be rehabilitated for low-income senior housing.
$874,798

Des Moines
Fort Des Moines Buildings
Fort Des Moines was named a National Historic Landmark in 1974 and is one of Iowa’s 25 National Historic Landmarks, which are designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as places of national distinction and exceptional value. The fort was established in 1901 and became in 1917 the first Army installation in the nation to train African-American officers to lead troops. It was also the first training center for the World War II Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps and Women’s Army Corps. At its peak, Fort Des Moines covered more than 600 acres and once comprised several hundred buildings, including seven barracks, three stables and a parade ground. Vacant for nearly 30 years, these buildings will be rehabilitated and adapted into apartments.
$8,097,295

Des Moines
Herndon Hall
In 1883, Jefferson and Julia (Herndon) Polk built this Queen Anne mansion with a hipped roof, decorative windows, and cross gables adorned with fish-scale shingles. The building has housed a doctor’s office for the last few years and will continue to serve that purpose. The recent preservation project shored up the roof, chimney and siding.
$545,261

Des Moines
Register and Tribune Building
The Register and Tribune Building was constructed over many years, starting with a 14-story tower in 1918. A Streamlined Moderne granite and limestone annex was added in 1948, and the original tower was re-clad in 1961. As the newspaper business continued to grow, further additions were made through the 1970s. The building is significant for its architecture and also for the newspaper’s prominent role in Iowa history.  The two papers, the Register and now-defunct Tribune, were two of the city’s largest employers and community promoters. Now vacant, the building will be rehabilitated and converted for retail space in the first floor and basement (where the printing press used to be) and studio and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors.
$8,109,800

Des Moines
Temple B’nai Jeshurun
Temple B’nai Jeshurun was constructed in 1932 and designed with a mix of “revival” elements of Byzantine, Moorish and Romanesque influences, including carved stonework, stained and leaded glass windows and doors, and decorative plasterwork. The social hall and education wing were added to the rear of the original building in 1957, with Mid-Century Modern features that still reflect and respect the materials and form of the original structure. The new project will address accessibility, systems updates and energy efficiency for the temple’s active congregation.
$450,000

Fort Dodge
Fort Dodge Senior High School
Constructed in 1922, the Fort Dodge Senior High School is significant both for its Beaux Arts architecture and the early 20th century emphasis on comprehensive education. The size of an entire city block, the building’s design facilitated a wide range of academics, vocational and commercial training, and a junior college for post-graduate education in business. The building also boasts numerous architectural features to promote efficiency, health, and convenience – key tenets of the progressive philosophy underlying its design. These features include mechanical systems, plenty of natural light, wide hallways, spacious classrooms, and built-in conveniences such as bookcases, slate blackboards with chalk trays, and storage units. Vacant for only a short time, the former school will be adaptively reused for market-rate apartments.
$2,981,713

Fort Madison

Fort Madison High School
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015 for its significant architecture and role in education, the Gothic Revival-style building reflects the progressive ideals of efficient education and training for youth in the gendered roles of the early 20th century. From its specialized classrooms to its large auditorium and gymnasium, the school was a well-equipped institution for turning students into productive citizens. Vacant for several years, the school will be adapted into apartments powered with a ground-mounted array of solar panels.
$822,259

Mount Pleasant
Brazelton Hotel
The four-story hotel was constructed in 1856 in the Italianate style, with a symmetrical design of brick and limestone, simple brackets, and round-arched windows with brick hoods. The hotel was part of the building boom that followed the arrival of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad and is one of the city’s only surviving 19th century hotels. It housed guests for more than 120 years but was mostly vacant for the past several decades. The new rehabilitation project will create upper-story luxury apartments and new commercial space on the first floor.
$757,953

Sioux City
Dimmit Hall
Dimmit Hall, which is part of the Morningside College Historic District, was originally built as the Women’s Residence Hall in 1926 and renamed in 1946 in honor of Lillian E. Dimmitt, who taught classics at the college. It is a restrained form of the Renaissance Revival style constructed in reddish-brown brick and features a projecting rounded two-story bay, a loggia, and decorative panels featuring garland swags. Still used for student housing, the Dimmit Hall project will include brick re-pointing, roof repairs and replacement of non-original windows.
$3,200,000

Waterloo
Campbell Baking Company
Locally known as the Wonder Bread building, the Campbell Baking Company building was originally constructed in 1927 of yellow brick with red tile in a Spanish Revival style. As business boomed, the building expanded in 1957 and again in 1977. The building represents a national trend of consolidation and incorporation of the baking industry during the early 20th century. The building operated as a bakery for more than 85 years producing a range of baked goods which included Wonder Bread and Hostess treats. Using ingredients similar to those in the baking industry, the building will be adaptively reused by Single Speed Brewing Company to produce Iowa craft beer. It will also house a restaurant, a beer garden and additional commercial space for a coffee roaster.
$1,241,929

Visit www.iowaculture.gov https://www.iowaculture.gov/history/preservation for more information about the State Historic Preservation Office and the State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit program.

Teaching Historic Preservation at Iowa State University

Teaching historic preservation at Iowa State University

Teaching historic preservation at Iowa State University

By Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock

Preservation Iowa Board Member & Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the College of Design, Iowa State University

Historic preservation education has a long history at Iowa State University, perhaps longer than many people realize.  Preservation classes have been offered here intermittently for three decades.  Most of these were taught by architecture faculty and focused on materials and technologies, and introduced students to the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings with the Secretary of the Interior’sStandards in mind.  Professor Arvid Osterberg’s class “Preservation, Restoration, and Rehabilitation” is emblematic of this.  First taught in the mid-1980s, he continues to teach this popular class today.  Many other preservation classes in various departments are now in the course catalog and more will come.

Through the unflagging efforts of several additional ISU faculty over the past few years—professors Diane Alshihabi of Interior Design, Mikesch Muecke of Architecture, and Heidi Hohmann of Landscape Architecture—we are now poised to launch Iowa’s first historic preservation degree program.  We anticipate that a certificate in historic preservation will be “on the books” by Fall semester of 2017 and, assuming the support among students is there, a master’s degree is on the not-so-distant horizon.  These efforts have been supported and championed by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and specifically Main Street Design Specialist Tim Reinders.  Below is a bit more about the program that we envision.

In its seminal 1984 report on historic preservation in higher education, the National Council for Preservation Education identified two fundamental types of programs in the United States.  Programs focusing on a single academic discipline were described as producing graduates who are “preservation specialists”: architects with an understanding of historic rehabilitation, preservation planners, vernacular architectural historians, and so on.  Conversely, other programs were more holistic in their approach and drew from multiple, interrelated disciplines.  These programs produced “preservation generalists.”  At ISU we will aim to produce graduates who are a healthy mix of both: specialists in their respective majors who can nevertheless speak across disciplines to general issues in the field of preservation.  This approach reflects the competitive advantage of a program housed in a College of Design, with many of the majors germane to historic preservation under one roof.  Partnerships with other departments at ISU (History, for example) and elsewhere will only broaden our student and faculty base and strengthen the program.

Historic preservation is an inherently and inescapably multidisciplinary field and the proposed certificate program at ISU recognizes this as a central organizing tenet.  A multidisciplinary pedagogical approach will allow us to train the greatest number of students while providing a suitably deep, yet broad, foundation in the field.  This approach also acknowledges the evolving nature of the discipline and the growing recognition that preservation is not simply about tangible objects like buildings, historic districts, and archaeological sites.  Rather, our conceptualization of preservation at ISU is in keeping with current, cutting-edge thinking in the field and is appropriately diverse, recognizing cultural landscapes and environments, historic interiors, and intangible heritage, as well as the host of new technologies that can be brought to bear on the study of historic places.

The curriculum will emphasize applied work as well as theory and capitalize on the expertise of Iowa’s public, private, and non-profit sectors.  We also recognize that the discipline of historic preservation involves more than the end-products: the historic resources themselves.  The production and consumption of these resources involves a variety of interrelated processes shaped by administrative, economic, legal, political, social, geographic, and touristic considerations.  Preservation education at ISU is thus framed as both an object-oriented and process-oriented endeavor.

Finally, we will encourage study off-campus, away from Ames—at project sites around the state, in the region, and across the country, as well as research and study programs abroad.  We also plan to use the College’s Design West facility in Sioux City as a sort of base camp for projects and distance learning in that region.  Eventually, we hope to establish a summer institute for historic preservation in Sioux City, also based at Design West.  We envision this as a vehicle for bringing together traditional, enrolled students and members of the public to learn about historic preservation and to develop technical preservation skills.

2017 Most Endangered Properties Nominations Open

 

Herring Hotel in Belle Plaine, IA, in danger of legal action due to deterioration

Herring Hotel in Belle Plaine, IA, in danger of legal action due to deterioration.  Nominated to the 2016 Most Endangered list.

Nomination Guidelines

To submit a nomination to the Most Endangered Properties Program, please e-mail completed Nomination Forms in Word, images, letters of support, etc. to lajjchs@juno.com. Please use “Most Endangered Properties Nomination” in the e-mail subject line. For larger image files, we recommend sending them to the Preservation Iowa Drop Box account.

Questions may be directed to Leigh Ann Randak at lajjchs@juno.com or 319-337-9581.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, December 5, 2016

Submission to the Most Endangered provides Preservation Iowa permission to use materials in organization promotional materials.

Nomination Packet Must Include:

 Completed Nomination Form (Microsoft Word format) – be sure to complete all parts of the form.

 At least two (2) and no more than four (4) high resolution (minimum 300 dpi, 2MB in size) images. Ideally, one image preceding threat or an historic image and one current image.

Please include photo credits.

There is NO nomination fee.

2016 Preservation at its Best Award Winners

2016 Preservation at its Best, Small Commercial: State Theatre, Washington, Iowa.  Exterior nighttime view

2016 Preservation at its Best, Small Commercial: State Theatre, Washington, Iowa. Exterior nighttime view

Preservation Iowa 25-year old (1991) year old not-for profit organization committed to preservation advocacy across the entire state of Iowa. Our two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered oftentimes leads to awareness, a preservation effort and a high-quality, award winning project.

Each year at the Preserve Iowa Summit, Preservation Iowa proudly recognizes the winners of the Preservation at its Best program.  The categories this year were:

Adaptive [re]use
Commercial [small] Commercial [large] Community
Residential
Public Structure
Rural Preservation
Sustainability in Preservation

We had many high-caliber applicants again this year. We want to commend all of the applicants including those who did not win awards, because all of you did something special for your communities and for the state of Iowa. So thank you to everyone who took on a preservation project.

Congratulations to the 2016 winners:

Mott Lofts

2016 Preservation at its Best, Sustainability in Preservation: Mott Lofts.  Exterior view.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Sustainability in Preservation: Mott Lofts. Exterior view.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Sustainability in Preservation: Mott Lofts

Originally the Iowa Wind Mill & Pump Company, the building was constructed in 1902 as part of a larger industrial/commercial complex. The company eventually closed its doors in 1951 and the building gradually became the only remaining of the original complex. Linn County purchased the building in the-mid 1990s and retained ownership through the notorious floods of 2008, up through 2015.

The industrial space contained large, expansive spaces with heavy timber and exposed brick. Though the original freight elevator has been gone since the early 1950s, the remains are still present in the form of the wooden braces and large metal gears and pulleys.

The existing stairwell was retained and was lovingly restored, looking as new as the day it was installed. The historic plaster and tin ceiling found in the office space on the 1st floor was retained, as well as the repair and re-use of all of the historic windows that remained on the first floor. The historic vault was retained, and the original freight elevator shaft remains visible in the corridor on each floor, historic artifacts from the building’s history are featured in the halls and in the lobby. Even fine details—like wood trim—were retained. This reuse of existing building components is both preservation at its best and sustainability at its best.


Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Preservation at its Best award winners includes:

Worth Brewing Company

2016 Preservation at its Best, Rural Preservation: Worth Brewing Company.  Exterior view.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Rural Preservation: Worth Brewing Company. Exterior view.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Rural Preservation: Worth Brewing Company

Northwood—a town with about 2000 residents—had problem that many small towns in rural Iowa face—a vacant building in the historic downtown. In this case, it was The Oddfellows-Erickson building. This two-story brick structure in the Italianate style was designed by J.L. Rood of St. Paul, who had also designed the nearby Worth County Courthouse. When the rehabilitation project started, the building was vacant—one side having been empty for 6 years. The roof and non-historic storefront was replaced to prevent further water infiltration and damage. Many original elements were saved and restored, including the metal cornice. Those surfaces were scraped, cleaned and painted.

Worth Brewing Company converted the first floor of the Erickson Building into the brewery; the first floor of the Odd Fellows building into the brewery Tap Room, and the second level Odd Fellows hall into an event center space. On the interior, asbestos was professionally abated to expose the original wood flooring. 1980s infill partitions and drop ceilings were removed.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Rural Preservation: Worth Brewing Company.  Interior view

2016 Preservation at its Best, Rural Preservation: Worth Brewing Company. Interior view

The original wood bead board ceiling was uncovered and carefully restored. Additionally, The IOOF meeting hall’s tin ceiling and molding was restored. Other restored elements included two of the original entry doors, all of the original doors on the second level of the Odd Fellows and the c. 1940 windows and doors on the second level of the Erickson Building


Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Preservation at its Best award winners includes:

Polk County Courthouse

2016 Preservation at its Best, Public Building: Polk County Courthouse.  Exterior aerial view.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Public Building: Polk County Courthouse. Exterior aerial view.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Public Building: Polk County Courthouse

Designed by the Des Moines-based architectural firm of Proudfoot & Bird, the current Polk County courthouse was built in 1906. Constructed for $750,000 on the site of its 1858 predecessor, the Beaux-Arts style courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Typical to the neoclassic style, the courthouse’s design incorporates overscaled cornices, faces carved in the keystones above the windows, swags and other sculptural details on a stone tower.

Work at the Historic Polk County Courthouse is part of a multi-phased process that began in 2010 when the design team began working with the county to determine the viability of renovating
multiple Polk County Courts system structures. Exterior restoration to the historic courthouse was a precursor project to stop water entering the Courthouse building before the larger interior project scheduled to start in 2018.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Public Building: Polk County Courthouse.  Exterior rehabilitation in progress.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Public Building: Polk County Courthouse. Exterior rehabilitation in progress.

Completed in 2015, the scope included Exterior restorations focused on stone cleaning, stone spalling, lead-coated copper detailing added to each belt course, lead coated copper flatlock was added in the balcony recesses, and lead-coated copper detailing was added at the tower and roof levels.


Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Preservation at its Best award winners includes:

The Randolph

2016 Preservation at its Best, Residential: The Randolph.  Exterior view during Farmer's Market

2016 Preservation at its Best, Residential: The Randolph. Exterior view during Farmer’s Market

2016 Preservation at its Best, Residential: The Randolph

The Randolph—previously the Hotel Randolph—combines three historic buildings into one complex. The three buildings—dating back to 1876, 1896 and 1912—had been combined into one hotel with 101 tiny units. Though it was one hotel, the three buildings were different both in their style and in their construction. Part of the project was rehabilitating facades of three different periods of significance. The most visible exterior changes are the reconstruction of projecting cornice on the 1912 building and that building’s open, glass, street level storefront.

The project team took care to create different housing layouts that respond to different downtown demographic needs, including efficient, small apartments to larger two-bedroom/two-bathroom units. The project also includes retail and restaurant space.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Residential: The Randolph.  Lobby view.

2016 Preservation at its Best, Residential: The Randolph. Lobby view.

The location, at the corner of Fourth Street and Court Avenue—provides new housing units in downtown Des Moines and provides a very visible example of high-quality historic rehabilitation.


Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Preservation at its Best award winners includes: