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: