Graceland Cemetery Chapel (Avoca)

Graceland Cemetery Chapel door (2020 Preservation at Its Best)

2020 Preservation at Its Best: Rural Preservation

The Graceland Cemetery Chapel in Avoca, Iowa is a 320 square-foot single-story, single-space building constructed around 1875. The chapel, also referred to as the “Octagon Building,” is a picturesque object-in-field structure acting as a key focal point in the undulating wooded landscape of the surrounding Graceland Cemetery. 

The Graceland Cemetery Chapel rehabilitation was performed under two Separate Prime Contracts. First, roofing and architectural repairs were carried out by Avoca’s Martin and Sons Construction Incorporated including the refurbishment of the brick chimney and replacement of the existing (circa 1986) wood shingles with new smooth-sawn western red cedar shingles. Entry doors were also replaced, carpentry details were repaired, and overall finishing and site work was carried out. Subsequently, the six pointed-arch windows and two matching transoms were restored by Terry Phillips with T.K. Enterprises with re-installation of the transom sashes in December of 2019.

Graceland Cemetery Chapel (2020 Preservation 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 2020 Preservation at its Best award winners includes: