Iowa’s Most Endangered Properties

Beyer Building in Grinnell is currently unoccupied and in need of rehabilitation.

Beyer Building in Grinnell is currently unoccupied and in need of rehabilitation.

Iowa’s Most Endangered Properties began in 1995 to show Iowans the special buildings and historic sites that are slowly and gradually slipping away from us. The program provides an excellent resource for media coverage and introduces endangered property owners to preservation advocates and resources that can help preserve their historic property.

Each year a call is placed for nominations through the Preservation Iowa membership, Main Street communities, and historic preservation commissions across the state. A panel of judges considers four criteria in choosing the final list: geographic distribution, historic significance, nature of the threat, and variety of building type.

2019 Most Endangered List

Endangered: Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve Barn

Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve Barn, Cedar County The Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve Barn is located near the unincorporated village of Buchanan. It is a structure on property associated with the 1854 Hannah Morse Fowler Hall House which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The red painted… Read more »

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Endangered: Central Battery Building, Waterloo

Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: Central Battery Building, Waterloo, Black Hawk County The Central Battery Building at 217-221 West 5th Street is one of the few office over retail structures left on Waterloo’s west side. The Arts and Craft style building was built in 1912 and is unusual for its use of white and… Read more »

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Endangered: Preston’s Station Historic District, Belle Plaine

Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: Preston’s Station Historic District, Belle Plaine (Benton County) Preston’s Station Historic District is comprised of a gas station, garage, and motel which sit along the old Lincoln Highway, the nation’s first transcontinental highway. The filling station built in 1912 was purchased by G. W. Preston in 1923 and moved… Read more »

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Endangered: St. Patrick Church, Council Bluffs

Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: St. Patrick Church, Council Bluffs (Pottawattamie County) St. Patrick’s parish was organized in 1924 with the purpose of serving the growing Catholic community in northeast Council Bluffs as well as those who worked at Mercy Hospital nearby. Construction of the English Gothic style church was completed in 1926. The… Read more »

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Endangered: C. C. Wolf Mansion, Parkersburg

Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: C. C. Wolf Mansion, Parkersburg (Butler County) The C.C. Wolf Mansion at 401 5th Street was built in 1895 for local banker and land speculator Charles C. Wolf and his wife Mary. Designed by architect Harry E. Netcott of Independence, this grand Richardsonian Romanesque style home sported copper gutters,… Read more »

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Endangered: Wetmore Building, Sioux City

Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: Wetmore Building, Sioux City (Woodbury County) Built between 1916 and 1918, the three-story structure at 615 Douglas Street was designed as a motor-mart for automobile dealership owner Harry A. Wetmore. The Wetmore Automobile Agency sold Chalmers and Saxon automobiles as well as Waterloo Boy farm tractors. Wetmore began manufacturing… Read more »

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Endangered: Marshalltown Historic District, Marshalltown

Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: Marshalltown Downtown Historic District, Marshalltown (Marshall County) The Marshalltown Downtown Historic District encompasses the 200 block of East Main to 100 block of West Main, and side streets from 3rd Street to 3rd Avenue from Church Street to State Street. The historic district was placed on the National Register… Read more »

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2018 Most Endangered List

Endangered: IOOF/Masonic Lodge Hall, Garnavillo

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  IOOF/Masonic Lodge Hall, Garnavillo (Clayton County) This wood frame, Greek Revival structure was built in 1860 by I.O.O.F Lodge # 29, the first fraternal organization in Clayton County. The second floor of the building was used as a meeting/ceremonial room for the I.O.O.F, Masons and other lodges and the first… Read more »

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Endangered: Thomas D. Murphy Co., Red Oak

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018: Thomas D. Murphy Co., Red Oak (Montgomery County) The oldest section of this three-story brick factory was built in 1905 to house the world renowned Thomas D. Murphy Co., at one-time one of the nation’s largest makers of advertising art calendars. Designed by Omaha architect Harry Lawrie, the building was… Read more »

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Endangered: Otto Rudolph Furniture Building, Cherokee

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  Otto Rudolph Furniture Building, Cherokee (Cherokee County) This two-story wood frame building at 208 W. Main may have been built as early as 1864 and consequently could be the oldest surviving commercial building in Cherokee. It is also one of only two frame buildings in the nationally designated Cherokee Commercial… Read more »

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Endangered: Gasser Block 918 Court Ave, Chariton

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  Gasser Block 918 Court Ave, Chariton (Lucas County) The Gasser Block constructed in 1875 is the oldest building on the south side of Chariton’s square and one of the largest. It also has the distinction of being one of only two 19th century structures on that part of the square… Read more »

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Endangered: Wilson High School, Cherokee

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  Wilson High School, Cherokee (Cherokee County) This two-story former high School building at 100 E. Willow Street was constructed between 1915 and 1917. Built of brick and Bedford limestone in the Simplified Classical Revival Style, the structure was designed by Proudfoot, Bird, and Rawson of Des Moines who were well… Read more »

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Endangered: Sanxay-Gilmore House, Iowa City

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  Sanxay-Gilmore House, Iowa City (Johnson County) Long believed to have been built in the late 1850s, recent research has revealed that the Sanxay-Gilmore House at 109 E. Market St. was built by 1843, making it likely the oldest remaining house within Iowa City’s original city limits. The two-story Greek Revival… Read more »

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Endangered: Beach Building, Ackley

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  Beach Building, Ackley (Hardin County) Charles Beach, a local entrepreneur and Civil War veteran, constructed this property in 1892 to house a music store downstairs and his residence in the second-story. In 1902, the Beach Building was one of the few surviving structures of a downtown fire that devastated the… Read more »

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Endangered: St. Mary’s School, Waterloo

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  St. Mary’s School, Waterloo (Black Hawk County) In 1922 St. Mary Catholic Church and School opened on the east side of Waterloo where many immigrants had settled. Many children of immigrant families would be educated at St. Mary’s including the five Sullivan brothers who attended the school before losing their… Read more »

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Endangered: Dr. J.W. Smith Building, Charles City

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018: Dr. J.W. Smith Building, Charles City (Floyd County) The Dr. J.W. Smith Building at 201-203 N. Main was built in 1866 by Dr. Joel Washington Smith, one of the first physicians to move to what was then St. Charles and open a practice. For many years the building housed a… Read more »

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Endangered: Jackson County Jail, Andrew

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018: Jackson County Jail, Andrew (Jackson County) The Andrew Jail was constructed in 1871 of locally quarried Niagara limestone and is the only structural reminder that Andrew once served as the Jackson County seat (1841-1851 and 1861-1873). Even after the county seat moved to Maquoketa in 1873, the jail at Andrew… Read more »

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Endangered: Carnegie Library, Rockwell City

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  Carnegie Library, Rockwell City (Calhoun County) Completed in 1909 with city support and a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, this brick building served for 90 years as both the city library and community center. The structure hosted not only library patrons but also 4-H meetings, civic club meetings, fundraising luncheons,… Read more »

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Endangered: Star Theater, Sioux Rapids

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018:  Star Theater, Sioux Rapids (Buena Vista County) John A. Meadows and Sons built the Star Theater in 1913. The brick building, designed by Nichols & Brown, was meant to house both a moving picture theater and a new home for the Republican Press newspaper. The theater closed in 1946 when… Read more »

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Endangered: White House Bathing Palace, Le Mars

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018: White House Bathing Palace, Le Mars, Plymouth County The White House Bathing Palace first appears on the 1907 Sanborn map as containing a public bath house. Primary customers were railroad passengers stopping in Le Mars, but with the spread of indoor plumbing, its use as a public bath house diminished…. Read more »

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2017 Most Endangered List

2016 Most Endangered List


 

Other Endangered Iowa Properties

Friends of Historic Preservation Muscatine lists properties that are Preservation Concerns, Works in Progress, and Preserved & Restored

Sioux City Historic Preservation Commission’s list of Endangered Properties

The Des Moines Rehabbers Club publishes an annual list of Des Moines’ Seven Most Endangered Buildings