2016 Preservation at its Best, Community Effort: Grand Mound Fire Station
In 2008, the Clinton County Historic Preservation Commission and the Grand Mound town council started working together to save the only wood frame fire stations in the state. The 1892 building was used as a fire station for decades until the town constructed a newer, larger station across the street. The town continued to use the building for storage, and Cub Scout and Boy Scout groups used the upper level for meetings into the 1980s. By 2008 , the building was in bad shape and demolition was one proposal for the old building.
The Fire station had been placed in the National Register in 2004 and a consultant—supported by a Technical Advisory Network or TAN grant—had already conducted research on the building. Many stabilization and rehabilitation projects occurred between 2009 and 2014.
The Clinton County supervisors were very supportive of the project and financed the majority of the restoration through budget requests from the preservation commission. Grants were applied for from the Clinton County Community Development Association and the Lincolnway Foundation. Many volunteer hours were spent on the various projects by the preservation commission members as well as local town citizens – from stripping the walls for plaster repair to setting up refreshments for the open house. Those smaller projects and volunteer involvement allowed this small community to gradually complete the work over several years.
Today the building is proudly being used by the Grand Mound community as a local museum. The town has landscaped the area around the building and has installed a chair lift for handicapped accessibility to the upper level where historic displays are found.
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 2016 Preservation at its Best award winners includes:
- Mott Lofts
- Worth Brewing Company
- Polk County Courthouse
- The Randolph
- Grand Mound Fire Station
- American Enterprise Group
- State Theatre
- Walden Block
- Cedar Falls Old Post Office