Iowa Executive Order Encourages Preservation

Governor Chet Culver Signs Executive Order 17

Posted by Rod Scott on November 11th, 2009 11:43 am

Governor Chet Culver has again shown his leadership in acknowledging historic preservation as an important issue in Iowa. Iowa Executive Order 17, signed on September 25, 2009, requires state agencies to make every attempt possible to locate their facilities in Cultural and Entertainment Districts, historic districts, and historic buildings statewide.

The executive order acknowledges the value of historic building rehabilitation and reuse as opposed to new construction at the edge of town, which has traditionally been the model for our society since the end of World War II. Historic buildings are often near reliable public transportation and low to moderate income populations, quite unlike the recent location of the Iowa Department of Transportation building north of Des Moines in what I can only describe as a “corn field development”.

The new executive order encourages following the sustainable design guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards. It also requires state agencies to work with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the Iowa Main Street program in implementing the order.

Iowa’s Executive Order 17 evolved from a similar Federal executive order, signed on May 21, 1996, by then-President Clinton. Federal Executive Order #13006 encouraged Federal agencies to locate their facilities in historic properties and central cities.

We hope all of our historic Iowa communities celebrate this legislation and promote this opportunity. Our thanks for the advocacy on this initiative goes out to the “west coast” Iowa community of Sioux City, and especially redeveloper, preservationist, and IHPA member Lew Weinberg (with assistance from board member and past President of IHPA, George Wakeman).

Download Iowa’s new Executive Order 17.