Monroe Place (Cedar Rapids)

Midcentury classroom entryway, "Welcome to Mrs. Johnson's Room" written on door

Monroe Place adaptive reuse of midcentury school into modern apartments

2019 Preservation at its Best: Adaptive Reuse

Four Oaks and ASK Studio/AKAY Consulting transformed vacated Monroe Elementary School in Cedar Rapids into 19 multi-family apartments called Monroe Place. With its original footprint and many of architectural features still in place, the 1961 building’s historic use is immediately apparent even now that it serves as modern affordable housing. This one-story, 24,000-square-foot building is a model for preserving a vacant school building with the use of state and federal historic tax credits.

Single story midcentury school, red-orange brick and large windows

Monroe place exterior view

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 2019 Preservation at its Best award winners includes: