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.

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

2017 Most Endangered List

Endangered: Red Bridge, Monroe

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Red Bridge, Monroe (Jasper County) Red Bridge is a Warren Truss bridge built in 1892, costing $3515.34. It spans South Skunk River south of Reasnor in Fairview Township, Jasper County. The bridge functioned as built until it was extensively damaged by flooding in 1947. The county then replaced one… Read more »

Endangered: Wade & Donohoe Buildings, Cherokee

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Wade & Donohoe Buildings, Mental Health Institute (Cherokee County) The Wade and Donohoe “cottages” are ancillary buildings to the “Cherokee State Hospital,” now known as the Cherokee Mental Health Institute (CMHI). Completed in 1902, the CMHI was the last of four regional mental health facilities in Iowa and was… Read more »

Endangered: Hampton Church of Christ, Hampton

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Hampton Church of Christ, Hampton (Franklin County) The construction of this church began in 1916 to replace an 1893 building which the congregation had since outgrown. On November 11, 1916, a fire broke out in the nearly completed church. With flames pouring over the roof, the fire alarm sounded… Read more »

Endangered: Mandalay Mansion, Cedar Falls

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Mandalay Mansion, Cedar Falls (Black Hawk County) 1603 Mandalay Dr., Cedar Falls was built in what was the town of Cedar Heights. Cedar Heights was between Cedar Falls and Waterloo and was developed in the early 20th century by William Galloway. Many industrialists in the area and built their… Read more »

Endangered: Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Waterloo

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Waterloo (Black Hawk County) Grace Methodist Episcopal Church built the church in 1911 and it was dedicated in 1912. The church was designed in a Neoclassical Revival style by the architectural firm of Turnbull & Jones of Elgin, Illinois, which disbanded shortly after the… Read more »

Endangered: Exchange Block, Chariton

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Exchange Block, Chariton (Lucas County) The threatened structure constitutes the south half of the double-front Exchange Block, brick above a stone foundation, that was constructed on the west side of the Chariton town square during 1883 to replace two of five frame buildings destroyed in a December 1882 fire…. Read more »

Endangered: Apollo School, Burlington

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Apollo School (Burlington High School), Burlington, Des Moines County The three-story Classic Revival school has 203,235 square feet of space and sits atop the west hill bluff overlooking downtown Burlington. Thousands of Burlingtonians were educated in the structure during its long life as a school first the city’s primary… Read more »

Endangered: Stone Schoolhouse, Lansing

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Stone Schoolhouse, Lansing (Allamakee County) The Stone Schoolhouse was built in 1863 and cost $5,000 to build. It operated as a school until 1973 and is reportedly the oldest schoolhouse that was in continual use west of the Mississippi. Its architectural style and building materials are emblematic of the… Read more »

Endangered: Iowa State Penitentiary (2nd year)

Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Most Endangered Buildings: Iowa State Penitentiary (Fort Madison, Lee County) The earliest portion of the Iowa State Penitentiary was constructed in ca. 1839 when Iowa was only a territory, with the Iowa State Penitentiary acting as a territorial prison most of a decade prior to Iowa’s statehood. The institution was potentially the… Read more »

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