Francis G. and Clara L. Moffett Cottage

Preservation at its Best 2018, Single-Family Residential: Moffett Cottage (Des Moines)

The Moffett Cottage was built c. 1894 by an un-determined builder or owner, however it is associated with F. G. Moffett. Moffett was a civil war veteran and was appointed Chief Clerk of the U.S. Pension office in 1890 serving until 1894.  

Francis G. and Clara L. Moffett Cottage, 2018 Preservation at Its Best

The cottage is a contributing structure to the Sherman Hill Historic District for its architectural contribution to the character of the neighborhood.  

The project included lifting the house and moving it few feet away from an adjacent apartment building. Additionally, the project involved the total rehabilitation of the first and second level into a sophisticated interior design with ultramodern influences while preserving the cottage’s historic features, finishes and spaces where they existed.  

The modern interior design features respect and build upon the existing historic features, finishes and materials. The structure had been extensively altered over many years and Mary Kay carefully removed the non-original materials to uncover the existing historic features and created interesting spaces and features such as the new stairway to the second floor.  

While already listed as a contributing structure in the Sherman Hill Historic District this extensive rehabilitation project was carefully executed so that the structure will continue to maintain its listing status. Funded by the home owner and supported by state and federal tax credits, this structure is a great illustration on how new residential design can be achieved within a shell of a historic structure.  

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 2018 Preservation at its Best award winners includes: