Tax Credits Spur Investment in Projects Across Iowa

Dome in the main sanctuary, Temple B'nai Jeshurun, Des Moines

Dome in the main sanctuary, Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Des Moines

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced that more than $32 million in historic preservation tax credits have been registered for 14 different projects in eight communities across the state for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

The State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit program provides an income tax credit of up to 25 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs for the preservation of historic buildings that are on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Today’s announcement of $32,756,071 in tax credits is 25 percent of $139,471,025 in qualified rehabilitation costs associated with the 14 projects. The total investment in the projects, including qualified and non-qualified rehabilitation costs, is $160,819,572.

“We continue to support our partners in historic preservation by registering nearly $33 million in tax credits for their projects,” DCA’s Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Steve King said. “These tax credits are a catalyst for historic preservation, quality of life, economic development and job opportunities in Iowa communities.”

The State Historic Preservation Office is overseen by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. It ensures historic rehabilitation projects that receive tax credits adhere to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Due to legislative changes that will be effective Aug. 15, the Iowa Economic Development Authority will partner with DCA and its SHPO division to administer the Historic Tax Credit program, which involves reviewing applications and awarding tax credit certificates for registered projects.

Chittenden and Eastman Commercial Building
The four-story Chittenden and Eastman Building in Burlington’s Downtown Commercial Historic District was built in 1896 and features Classical Revival details, including a decorative metal cornice. The limestone foundation, buff brick facade and red brick side for the remaining walls reflect the Chicago School style that was popular in the 1890s. The upper floors have been vacant while the main level had limited use in recent years as a reception hall and event center. The adaptive reuse of this building will allow for commercial activity on the first floor and apartments above.

Tama Building
The Tama Building was designed by Burlington architect J.C. Sunderland and was constructed in 1896. The design of the building shows the influence of the Chicago School, particularly in how the five stories are organized in a tripartite arrangement with lower, middle and upper sections. The building originally housed retail space on the first floor and 50 offices for doctors, dentists, real estate agents and dressmakers were located in the floors above.  The building will be rehabilitated into apartments on the upper floors and commercial space on the first floor.

Cedar Rapids
Iowa Wind Mill and Pump Company Office and Warehouse / Mott Lofts
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, the Iowa Wind Mill and Pump Company Office and Warehouse were originally constructed in 1902. The three-story brick building features heavy timber supports and framing, plus a massive limestone foundation. The high ceilings and open floor-plan allowed the original company to store and move its products as needed. The building is the only remaining part of the company’s larger original complex, which played a role in Cedar Rapids’ late 19th- and early 20th-century industrial history. Having survived numerous floods, the vacant property will soon be reused for 16 luxury apartments on the upper two floors and commercial space on the first floor.

Cedar Rapids
Welch-Cook-Beals Company Building
This six-story warehouse stands in the heart of the Cedar Rapids Downtown Commercial Historic District. Built in 1909, the building’s distinctive overhanging eaves, a box cornice, brick pilasters, and Prairie Style masonry house an interior space supported by a distinctive structure of reinforced concrete and mushroom pillars, known as the Turner System. The Welch-Cook (later Welch-Cook-Beals) Company was the city’s only dry goods wholesaler for many years, remaining in business into the 1960s.The building has been vacant since the 2008 floods but will soon provide housing on the upper floors and retail space on the first floor.

Cedar Rapids
Monroe Elementary School
Monroe Elementary School was built in 1961 to meet Cedar Rapids’ educational needs during the city’s post-World War II baby boom. The building’s flat roof, large expanses of windows that establish a relationship between the classrooms and the exterior space, and linear plan are all hallmarks of mid-20th century architectural design. The building was listed on the National Register in 2015 and will be rehabilitated for low-income senior housing.

Des Moines
Fort Des Moines Buildings
Fort Des Moines was named a National Historic Landmark in 1974 and is one of Iowa’s 25 National Historic Landmarks, which are designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as places of national distinction and exceptional value. The fort was established in 1901 and became in 1917 the first Army installation in the nation to train African-American officers to lead troops. It was also the first training center for the World War II Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps and Women’s Army Corps. At its peak, Fort Des Moines covered more than 600 acres and once comprised several hundred buildings, including seven barracks, three stables and a parade ground. Vacant for nearly 30 years, these buildings will be rehabilitated and adapted into apartments.

Des Moines
Herndon Hall
In 1883, Jefferson and Julia (Herndon) Polk built this Queen Anne mansion with a hipped roof, decorative windows, and cross gables adorned with fish-scale shingles. The building has housed a doctor’s office for the last few years and will continue to serve that purpose. The recent preservation project shored up the roof, chimney and siding.

Des Moines
Register and Tribune Building
The Register and Tribune Building was constructed over many years, starting with a 14-story tower in 1918. A Streamlined Moderne granite and limestone annex was added in 1948, and the original tower was re-clad in 1961. As the newspaper business continued to grow, further additions were made through the 1970s. The building is significant for its architecture and also for the newspaper’s prominent role in Iowa history.  The two papers, the Register and now-defunct Tribune, were two of the city’s largest employers and community promoters. Now vacant, the building will be rehabilitated and converted for retail space in the first floor and basement (where the printing press used to be) and studio and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors.

Des Moines
Temple B’nai Jeshurun
Temple B’nai Jeshurun was constructed in 1932 and designed with a mix of “revival” elements of Byzantine, Moorish and Romanesque influences, including carved stonework, stained and leaded glass windows and doors, and decorative plasterwork. The social hall and education wing were added to the rear of the original building in 1957, with Mid-Century Modern features that still reflect and respect the materials and form of the original structure. The new project will address accessibility, systems updates and energy efficiency for the temple’s active congregation.

Fort Dodge
Fort Dodge Senior High School
Constructed in 1922, the Fort Dodge Senior High School is significant both for its Beaux Arts architecture and the early 20th century emphasis on comprehensive education. The size of an entire city block, the building’s design facilitated a wide range of academics, vocational and commercial training, and a junior college for post-graduate education in business. The building also boasts numerous architectural features to promote efficiency, health, and convenience – key tenets of the progressive philosophy underlying its design. These features include mechanical systems, plenty of natural light, wide hallways, spacious classrooms, and built-in conveniences such as bookcases, slate blackboards with chalk trays, and storage units. Vacant for only a short time, the former school will be adaptively reused for market-rate apartments.

Fort Madison

Fort Madison High School
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015 for its significant architecture and role in education, the Gothic Revival-style building reflects the progressive ideals of efficient education and training for youth in the gendered roles of the early 20th century. From its specialized classrooms to its large auditorium and gymnasium, the school was a well-equipped institution for turning students into productive citizens. Vacant for several years, the school will be adapted into apartments powered with a ground-mounted array of solar panels.

Mount Pleasant
Brazelton Hotel
The four-story hotel was constructed in 1856 in the Italianate style, with a symmetrical design of brick and limestone, simple brackets, and round-arched windows with brick hoods. The hotel was part of the building boom that followed the arrival of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad and is one of the city’s only surviving 19th century hotels. It housed guests for more than 120 years but was mostly vacant for the past several decades. The new rehabilitation project will create upper-story luxury apartments and new commercial space on the first floor.

Sioux City
Dimmit Hall
Dimmit Hall, which is part of the Morningside College Historic District, was originally built as the Women’s Residence Hall in 1926 and renamed in 1946 in honor of Lillian E. Dimmitt, who taught classics at the college. It is a restrained form of the Renaissance Revival style constructed in reddish-brown brick and features a projecting rounded two-story bay, a loggia, and decorative panels featuring garland swags. Still used for student housing, the Dimmit Hall project will include brick re-pointing, roof repairs and replacement of non-original windows.

Campbell Baking Company
Locally known as the Wonder Bread building, the Campbell Baking Company building was originally constructed in 1927 of yellow brick with red tile in a Spanish Revival style. As business boomed, the building expanded in 1957 and again in 1977. The building represents a national trend of consolidation and incorporation of the baking industry during the early 20th century. The building operated as a bakery for more than 85 years producing a range of baked goods which included Wonder Bread and Hostess treats. Using ingredients similar to those in the baking industry, the building will be adaptively reused by Single Speed Brewing Company to produce Iowa craft beer. It will also house a restaurant, a beer garden and additional commercial space for a coffee roaster.

Visit for more information about the State Historic Preservation Office and the State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit program.