Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Most Endangered Buildings: Troy Academy (Troy, Davis County)
Troy Academy was one of the first academies in Iowa when it was constructed in 1850. Clarence Ray Aurner, who published “History in Education in Iowa in 1915” indicates that Troy was probably the first private school to assume the name “Normal”. This perhaps reflected an effort by independent organizations such as these to accommodate themselves to plans set forth by the state to train teachers in normal schools. Students who completed the first two years were awarded a bachelor of elementary didactics, those who completed all four years received a bachelor of philosophic didactics. The school was used until 1888 when it was shut down. The building became the property of Troy Independent School District in 1904 and was used for classes until 1916 when the Troy High School was opened. The Troy Academy was still used for band, chorus, and shop classes.
The Troy Academy has been featured in many of P. Buckley Moss’ paintings over the years. Discussion of restoring the academy began in the spring of 1973. From this discussion came the formation of the Troy Academy & Historical Society and the listing of the Troy Academy on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Accomplishments during the first five years included restoring the interior and exterior of the Academy to its original appearance; purchasing 23 adjoining acres of crop ground for future maintenance income; acquiring 500 books to start a library in the Academy; and constructing a shelter house and lighted baseball diamond on site.
Since the initial restoration took place the board has worked to maintain the Academy to the best of their financial ability. In 2001 funding was secured from the State Historical Society of Iowa (contract number: REAP/HRDP/CS02-012) for roofing and window restoration. But there are many more maintenance repairs which are currently needed.
Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered Property program was started in 1995 and implemented to educate Iowans about the special buildings and historic sites that are slowly and gradually slipping away from us. In the past 20 years, Preservation Iowa has designated over 140 archaeological sites, churches, landscapes and a variety of other buildings.
The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Most Endangered Properties includes:
- Endangered: Troy Academy Built in 1850
- Endangered: Herring Hotel, Belle Plaine
- Endangered: Beyer Building on 4th Avenue, Grinnell
- Endangered: First Baptist Church, Grundy Center
- Endangered: Iowa State Penitentiary
- Endangered: Knutson Building
- Endangered: St. Patrick Church
- Endangered: Reimann-Schoeneman House