Siouxland Historical Railroad Association (Sioux City)

Purple flowers in foreground, train and garage in background

Milwaukee Railroad Shops Historic District and Railroad Museum cleanup effort

2019 Preservation at its Best: Community Effort

The Milwaukee Railroad Shops Historic District in Sioux City is a 30-acre site that contains surviving structures, foundations, buildings, and a rail yard from the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad shops. The district is home to one of seven surviving roundhouse terminal landscapes in the nation. After being abandoned by the railroad in 1980, the district became a junkyard for farm equipment. Twenty-five years ago, there was little indication of the area’s historic significance, but the Siouxland Historic Railroad Association acquired the property in 1995 and began to celebrate the district’s long-ignored historical assets.

aerial photo of train roundabout

Milwaukee Railroad Shops Historic District historic photo

During the past 10 years, more than 160,000 volunteer hours helped transform the district and implement many educational programs to keep the history of the rail industry in Iowa alive.

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 2019 Preservation at its Best award winners includes: