Aerial views, information about 118,000 cultural resources now on-line

Iowa Site Inventory features architectural properties, historic districts and cemeteries

Posted by PM on December 30th, 2011 9:40 am

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
600 E. Locust Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319


Contact: Jeff Morgan, 515-281-3858

DES MOINES – The Department of Cultural Affairs today announced information about nearly 114,000 historical and architectural properties, 280 National Register districts, and 3,500 cemeteries have been mapped and are now available on-line.

DCA has mapped and uploaded information from its Iowa Site Inventory to I-Sites Public, an online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) site co-hosted by Iowa State University’s GIS Support and Research Facility and the Office of the State Archaeologist in Iowa City. The I-Sites Public web page is at

“This is important because it marks the first time the statewide inventory of Iowa’s cultural resources is available to the public in this format,” DCA Director Mary Tiffany Cownie said. “This means anybody from historic preservationists to archaeologists to the general public can visit this site on-line and research places and properties in Iowa that have historical, archaeological and architectural significance or value.”

The Iowa Site Inventory files contain information about more than 123,000 architectural, historical and National Register-listed properties around the state. Information in each property file varies in scope from a single photograph to a full National Register nomination, newspaper clippings and project reports.

Each property is given a unique site number and basic information about the property is entered into the computerized Iowa Site Inventory database. This searchable information includes location details, property names, historic and current functions, building materials, architect and builder (if known), architectural style and National Register status.

The database also cross-references properties to photographs and 1,900 architectural and historical reports in the State Historic Preservation Office collections.

More information is available by contacting SHPO’s Berry Bennett at or 515-281-8742.


The principal activities of the Office of the State Archaeologist Geographic Information Services (GIS) include managing the Iowa Site File, which is the master inventory of archaeological sites in Iowa. GIS disseminates information from the Iowa Site File to the professional and avocational archaeological community, as well as to agencies and developers. The Iowa Site File is also used as a data source for research projects on the use of Iowa’s landscape by past cultures.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at

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