Properties Listed on National Register of Historic Places
For immediate release March 10, 2004
Sarah Oltrogge, (515) 281-4011
Des Moines, Iowa
Thirty-eight properties in Iowa that were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 received special recognition Monday from the State Historical Society of Iowa, as part of the annual Celebrate Community History awards program. The event is held in conjunction with National Historic Preservation Week.
The properties, commercial and historic districts are each noted for retaining historic integrity and stand today as excellent examples of architecture or have association to significant events or people.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s cultural resources worthy of preservation. The program is administered by the National Park Service under the Secretary of the Interior. Properties listed on the National Register include districts, sites, structures, and objects that are significant to American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture. These resources contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of the nation.
The ceremony also included presentation of the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance’s “Preservation At Its Best” Awards. These awards are made annually to projects in Iowa that demonstrate a commitment to maintaining and preserving Iowa’s cultural heritage.
National Register of Historic Places
(alphabetical listing by city)
Presented May 10, 2004, Community History Awards Ceremony, Des Moines
P.W.A. –Era County Courthouses of Iowa
Ten county courthouses in Iowa built during the New Deal Era as part of the federal Public Works Administration were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The construction of these courthouses represented a significant investment of federal and local dollars by voters in counties that were hard-pressed by the effects of the Great Depression. Designed by Keffer and Jones of Des Moines, an important architectural firm responsible for the design of numerous P.W.A-funded public buildings, these courthouses are examples of the P.W.A. Moderne style of public building architecture developed during the 1930s and early 1940s. Their designs blend Art Deco and Moderne style elements with the utilitarian advantages of modern office building construction.
The P.W.A.-Era County Courthouses in Iowa listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 are:
• Jones County Courthouse, 500 W. Main St., Anamosa
• Cass County Courthouse, 5 W. 7th St., Atlantic
• Audubon County Courthouse, 318 Leroy St., Audubon
• Des Moines County Courthouse, 513 N. Main St., Burlington
• Floyd County Courthouse, 101 S. Main St., Charles City
• Humboldt County Courthouse, 203 Main St., Dakota City
• Buchanan County Courthouse, 216 5th Ave., Independence
• Warren County Courthouse, 115 N. Howard Ave., Indianola
• Allamakee County Courthouse, 110 Allamakee St., Waukon
• Bremer County Courthouse, 415 E. Bremer Ave., Waverly
Bloomfield, Davis County
Trimble-Parker Historic Farmstead District, 23981 240th St.
This Historic Farmstead District is a well-preserved example of an early 20th century purebred stock farm in southern Iowa. The survival of so many of its original buildings, including a diverse set of livestock buildings reflecting the varied stock types and operations carried out on this farmstead between 1901 and 1952, is unusual and notable. The barn is a local landmark in the Bloomfield and Pulaski area, significant as a design of Joseph E. Wing, well-known for his innovative barn designs in the 1890s to the early 1900s.
Centerville, Appanoose County
C B & Q Passenger Depot, 1124 S. 18th St.
The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Passenger Depot illustrates the importance of the railroad to community development, and the type of building constructed in county seat towns. In 1903, CB&Q acquired the Keokuk &Western, with Centerville serving as a division point on the line. By 1910, the citizens of Centerville started to talk about the need for a larger, more substantial depot. Construction began in July 1911 and opened in February 1912. The depot played an important role in Centerville’s economy for a number of years, even up until 1982 when CB&Q finally abandoned the line as passengers were more likely to fly or drive than travel by rail. In 1990, the Appanoose County Post 526 Veterans of Foreign Wars purchased the building to use as their meeting hall, and have planned to preserve its integrity.
Central City, Linn County
Central City Commercial Historic District, E. Main St., 300-400 block; N. 4th St. to Commercial
This Commercial Historic District calls attention to the effects transportation had on the emergence of the community’s central business district during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The district also calls attention to significant town building patterns in the community during the Expansion Era. A devastating fire destroyed much of Central City’s commercial district in 1889. Local entrepreneurs (witnessing a faith in the community’s future) quickly redeveloped this area through rebuilding and replatting efforts. A cluster of the buildings built following the fire were designed by Paul Sigmund, a noted local contractor-builder. It also calls attention to the influence of several styles of architecture in its design including Late Victorian, Prairie School, Commercial style and Art Deco.
Chariton, Lucas County
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Freight House, jct. of Auburn and Brookdale
Completed and first occupied in 1904, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Freight House calls attention to the “Golden Age of Railroading” in Iowa and its effects on the commercial growth of Chariton as a southern Iowa wholesale and distribution center. The Freight House possesses an interior space of over 3,700 square feet, and reflects Chariton’s importance as a division point for the CB&Q and the city’s emerging role as a distribution center.
Danville, Des Moines County
Dennis Melcher Pottery and House, 22981 and 22982 Agency Rd.
The Dennis Melcher Pottery and Residence are a rare example of a commercial/industrial facility along an early territorial/state road with a nearby owner’s residence. Dennis, and his brother Edward, born in Baden, Germany, both settled in Burlington in the 1840s. Their father had been a potter, and Dennis started a pottery in Burlington in 1844. Around 1848, the Melchers discovered a vein of clay running along the Des Moines/Henry County line near the Agency Road. In April, 1849, Dennis Melcher bought 19.98 acres in Danville Twp., part of it directly on the county line. On that land he built a limestone building to house his pottery, and a residence across the road to house his growing family. The pottery opened in 1851 and produced crocks, churns, kitchen jugs, canning jars, bean pots, flower pots and perhaps some dinnerware until Dennis Melcher died in 1879.
Davenport, Scott County
Crescent Warehouse Historic District, portions of E. 4th St. E., 5th St., Iowa St., and Pershing Ave.
The Crescent Warehouse Historic District has a strong historical association with the commercial and industrial development that occurred between 1900 and 1950 at the east end of Davenport’s central business district. The multi-block area is located between the two “crescents” created by elevated track beds of the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad as the main line passes through Davenport and connects to the railroad yards. This period saw construction of new factories, warehouses, and railroad buildings in the district at a time when Davenport was transitioning from a lumber-based economy to a more diverse industrial and commercial base. Survival of an intact collection of multi-story warehouses, factories, and railroad structures make this historic district locally unique and rare within the state of Iowa.
Des Moines, Polk County
Newens Sanitary Dairy Historic District, 2300-2312 University Ave., and 2225 University Ave.
The Newens Sanitary Dairy Historic District is associated with the development and marketing of modern sanitary retail dairy operations in response to advances in regulations and technology regarding food sanitation, which affected agriculture and commerce. The Newens Sanitary Dairy Company’s urban retail dairy plant is a rare surviving example of an early 20th century retail dairy processing and manufacturing facility. It is also noted for its association with co-owners Lynn Newens and his wife, Susan. Mr. Newens was a leader in commercial dairy issues in the first half of the 20th century in Des Moines and Iowa. He, vice president and later president of the dairy firm, and Susan, who was bookkeeper and later treasurer of the business, lived across the street from the dairy plant. Mr. and Mrs. Newens were active in University Place Christian Church (today First Christian Church); in industry associations and other volunteer work.
Des Moines, Polk County
Hotel Kirkwood, 400 4th St.
Completed and first occupied in 1930, the Hotel Kirkwood’s massing, sleek exterior skin geometrical detailing, and treatment of the crown, which caps the building, reflect the influence of Art Deco styling on its design. The building calls attention to new concepts of informality, comfort, and privacy for hotels in Des Moines. The construction of the Hotel Kirkwood emerged as a skyscraper hotel in downtown Des Moines and demonstrates the considerable architectural design skill of H.L Stevens & Company of Chicago.
Des Moines, Polk County
Linden Heights Historic District, Foster Dr.-Glenview Dr.-Woodlawn-Park Hill Dr. west of SW 42nd St.
The Linden Heights residential plat and neighborhood displays a collective array of houses reflecting the successive design influences of residential styles and types between 1912 and 1956. It also played a key role in the settlement and development of the West side of the city located south of Grand Avenue, the principal east/west thoroughfare. The houses located here retain a high degree of physical integrity, an exceptional factor when compared to the rest of the city.
Ely, Linn County
Dows Street Historic District, Dows St. between State and Main streets
This Historic District illustrates the pull and pushes the railroad and other transportation forces exerted over Ely and how local entrepreneurs and residents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries revitalized the lifeless plat that railroad interests originally had imposed on land use. The Dows Street Historic District emerged as a corridor of commercial and residential prominence from circa 1885 through circa 1920.
Fairfield, Jefferson County
R. Bruce and May Louden House, 501 W. Adams Ave.
Completed and first occupied as a single-family dwelling in 1905, the R. Bruce and May W. Louden House calls attention to R. Bruce Louden for his leadership of the Louden Machinery Company through a critical period in the firm’s history. Louden served as the company’s third president from 1940 until his death in 1951. During that time, the company foresaw, prepared for, and successfully supplied vast quantities of overhead handling equipment to American industry during World War II. The house was occupied by the Loudens from around 1905 until 1948.
Fort Dodge, Webster County
Oleson Park Music Pavilion, 1400 Oleson Park Ave.
The Oleson Park Music Pavilion is nationally significant for its close association with American Bandmaster and Composer Karl King, as well as its architect, Henry Kamphoefner. Karl L. King was a prolific composer of music for concert and military bands known the world over. It was the home base of this bandmaster and his music since its construction in 1938 until his death in 1971. It is also an excellent example of Modern Movement Architecture by Henry Kamphoefner, an architect and teacher who was a leader in his field during the middle of the 20th century.
Fort Dodge, Webster County
First National Bank Building, 629 Central Ave.
Built in 1907-1908, the First National Bank Building in Fort Dodge is a locally prominent landmark that derives its significance from two principal areas: commerce and architecture. The history of the First National Bank runs almost parallel with the development of Fort Dodge since 1866. The officers and directors of the First National Bank were among the city’s most prominent businessmen, active in city commerce and politics as well as the regionally important gypsum extraction and milling industry. Erected by the city’s principal financial institution at the height of its affluence, the First National Bank Building played a pivotal role in Fort Dodge commerce.
Hampton, Franklin County
Hampton Double Square Historic District, roughly bounded by 2nd Ave. – 1st Ave. – the alley W of 1st St., and the alley east of Federal
The town of Hampton was laid out in June 1856 by county surveyor H.P. Allen. The original plat was L-shaped, being eight blocks by eight blocks. Near the center of the “L” was a two block public square with a north/south axis. While the “courthouse square” plan is frequently found in Iowa, this two block, or double, square is a rare design. It illustrates the two functions of public squares: both commercial and public development, and represents the best of both the commercial and public architecture during high points of the community’s development.
Lost Nation (vicinity), Clinton County
Sharon Methodist Episcopal Church, 1223 125th St.
The Sharon Methodist Episcopal Church is the last-surviving building from the hamlet community of Burgess-Smithtown and represents a successful long-term, cross-cultural cooperation between two congregations which shared the same church building throughout its history, 1875-World War I. The common ground that allowed for this feat was likely a common commitment to the temperance movement. This made the Methodists willing to work with the Germans, who otherwise were not always accepted. There is also a probable link to the financial depression of the early 1870s which made it necessary for the two congregations to share the costs of supporting the newly-built church.McGregor, Clayton County
Peter Stauer House, 629 Main St.
Built in 1882, the Peter Stauer House is an excellent example of the Queen Anne Style of the patterned masonry sub-type, and as an example of the personal style of the architect Elias White Hale Jacobs of McGregor. Peter Stauer and J.A. Ramage, both locally important businessmen, owned the house consecutively. McGregor was at the high point of its economic growth as well as its population in the 1880s, and as a result, most of its significant houses as well as its commercial district were built in that decade. The 1880s was the period in which the Queen Anne style was popular and the time that architect Elias Jacobs was designing houses and commercial buildings on Main Street in McGregor. The Peter Stauer House and only a few others like it, have retained their historical integrity. Their brick construction was harder to alter than wood-frame construction. Most of the wood-frame houses in McGregor did not survive as good examples of their style.
Muscatine (vicinity), Muscatine County
Pine Mills German Methodist Episcopal Church, 180th St., and Verde Ave.
This church is significant in that it preserves one aspect of the larger phenomenon of 19th century settlement in eastern Iowa. It captures a piece of history involving the spread of religious beliefs and practices among an immigrant population and the role of language within it. It also reflects the spiritual longings of immigrants and their desire to create the structures necessary to preserve and perpetuate religious aspects of culture. The church was used by a rural congregation from completion of its construction in the summer of 1867 until it disbanded in 1910. After passing into private ownership, it has been used for storage of agricultural products and as a workshop. Presently, the church is unused and suffers from neglect and deterioration.
Nevada, Story County
Nevada Downtown Historic District, approx. 6th St., from I Ave. to M Ave.
This historic district is associated with 50 years of commercial development in Nevada’s central business district. The period extends from the late 1870s when the railroad depot was moved to the head of 6th Street through the late 1920s when a series of community betterment projects were completed in a spirit of civic boosterism.
New London, Henry County
McClellan’s General Store, 107 E. Main
The McClellan building set the standard for new commercial construction around 1865. A two-story building constructed for James McClellan to house his business, it was the first example of a simplified Italianate style building in the community. James McClellan and his wife, Adeline arrived in Henry County in 1856. In 1867, he entered the mercantile business, during which time he purchased the lot for $365 and constructed the building. In 1875, he added dry goods to his inventory, and it was probably at that time that the business became known as McClellan and Stottard Dry Goods Store. The second floor of the building served as the McClellan family residence for a number of years. The town of New London has prospered from its earliest days by being located on major transportation routes, both a highway and a railroad. The McClellan building, and the two buildings on the same block, speak to the early days of these routes and the importance of transportation to the community.
New London, Henry County
Smith & Weller Building, 100 E. Main
The Smith & Weller Building was constructed sometime between 1872 when Charles W. Smith and C.B. Weller bought the lot for $300, and 1879 when they sold the lot to Sam Keiser and W.S. Workman for $2,500. The building is a very good example of Italianate design that has retained much of its integrity. Simple brick patterned arches such as those found on New London buildings were often used for commercial buildings in small communities, and for small, single storefront buildings. It had several owners over the years, with a variety of businesses housed within it. Sam Keiser and his wife, Sarah, owned it until 1907 when they sold it to the Knights of Pythias Lodge #185. Locally, it is remembered as being a hardware store on the first floor, with the Knights of Pythias occupying the second floor. In 1946, the members of the Knights of Pythias Lodge sold it to Otis and Mae Maginnis, and until recently, the first floor housed a tavern.
New London (vicinity), Henry County
John and Lavina Bangs House, 2759 Old Highway 24
This house is the second dwelling to occupy this site. Built around 1865, this fine two story brick Italianate style residence illustrates the prosperity that was achieved by this pioneer family. To build such a “high style” house on a farm was not unheard of, but it was fairly rare. This seems to indicate that John Bangs was a prosperous farmer, and it may have been built as a wedding gift for his bride. Also, since this residence was located on a major thoroughfare, this style may have been selected to make a statement that this area (or at least the owner) had passed the pioneer stage and become settled and “cultured.”
Pella, Marion County
Porter-Rhynsburger House, 514 Broadway St.
C. Rhynsburger (b. 1839) was born in the Netherlands, where he lived until emigrating to Marion County in 1855. Following several years of farming, Rhynsburger commenced a mercantile business in Pella in 1861, an occupation he pursued with success. In 1863, he married R. Vander Ley and the union bore eight children. Completed and first occupied in 1855 by Joseph Porter and subsequently expanded in 1870 by C. and R. Rhynsburger, the Porter-Rhynsburger House remains as one of a small handful of extant buildings erected by Pella’s first generation of settlers.
Pella, Marion County
Hendrik J. and Wilhelmina H. Van den Berg Cottage, 1305 W. Washington St.
A native of the Netherlands, Hendrik J. Van den Berg emigrated to America along with other Hollanders to escape religious persecution. In the 1840s and 1850s, successive bands of Dutch immigrants settled in Marion County, under the leadership of Domine Henry P. Scholte, their religious and political leader. The cottage, completed in two phases in 1862 and 1880, represents the first generation of residential structures constructed in Pella, and exhibits the architectural influence of the Netherlands. Today, only a handful of these cottages remains in the community.
Rose Hill, Mahaska County
Rose Hill Methodist Episcopal Church, 304 Main St.
This church, constructed in 1879, is the only 19th century ecclesiastical building remaining on its original site in this once flourishing Mahaska County community, and is a good example of Gothic Revival design influence, most evident in its use of the pointed arch for window and door openings. That these arched openings are all at 45 degree angles is an indication that the building’s design and construction were undertaken by church members with limited experience in carpentry beyond erecting their own homes and outbuildings. What they may have lacked in experience in terms of providing elaborate detailing was more than compensated for in their remarkable sense of symmetry.
Sioux City, Woodbury County
Arthur and Stella Sanford House, 1925 Summit
This house was constructed in 1914 for Lucia Stone, widow of Edgar H. Stone, at a cost of $12,000. It passed through several hands until the Sanfords purchased it in 1936, and continued to live there until their deaths in 1981. Arthur Sanford was known as a Sioux City promoter, developer, philanthropist and one of Sioux City’s greatest builders, and is locally most famous for his association with and the development of the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre. While Arthur Sanford is known as a person who improved Sioux City’s economic status, it was Stella who helped open his eyes to the needs of the citizens of Sioux City. Arthur and Stella were very active in Sioux City’s community affairs and gave substantially to public causes. One such cause was the construction of a multi-cultural community house, which today is known as the Sanford Center.
Tipton, Cedar County
Cedar County Sheriff’s Residence and Jail, 118 W. 4th St.
County jails were viewed as important public buildings and usually given a place of prominence along a major street, just as the old Cedar County jail is located one block southwest of the courthouse square, on Fourth and Lynn streets in Tipton. Like other public buildings, these were built of brick or stone to give an appearance of mass and permanence. The Cedar County sheriff’s residence and jail is believed to have been the last residence/jail in operation in Iowa at the time of its closing in 2001. This type of arrangement was often referred to as a “Mom and Pop” jail. That is, Mom (often the sheriff’s wife) did the cooking and Pop (often the sheriff), did the supervision and running of the jail. The sheriff and his wife (or deputy and his wife) resided in the living quarters that are attached to the jail.
Viola (vicinity), Linn County
Grant Wood’s “Fall Plowing” Rural Historic Landscape District, 1/2 mi N. of Jct. of Matsell Ln. and Stone City Rd.
Grant Wood, nationally-renowned American Regionalist artist, used this landscape district as his outdoor “studio” where he first sketched “Fall Plowing”. The final painting was based on a real landscape and yet was imbued with Wood’s combination of realism and idealization of rural Iowa and agrarian life. The district includes the landscape, four standing buildings that were depicted in this 1931 painting, and two barns that were standing in 1931 but were omitted from the final painting. The current landscape is still recognizable as Wood’s “Fall Plowing” landscape despite modern land use and the inevitable changes that come with the passage of time.
Wall Lake, Sac County
Chicago and Northwestern Passenger Depot, 3727 Perkins Ave.
This depot is the only surviving structure in Wall Lake to provide evidence of the enormous role that rail transportation played in the life of this small town from the 1880s until about World War II. By the turn of the century, Wall Lake, with a population of not quite 800, was served by both the Chicago & Northwestern and the Illinois Central railroads. The Wall Lake depot embodies the characteristics of the second generation of standardized combination depots that were prevalent during the heyday of railroad growth just before and after the turn of the 20th century. Although not as substantial as many second-generation depots (which often were constructed of brick) the Wall Lake depot nonetheless reflects the railroad line’s concern with the public image during an era of growth and competition for passengers by freight.
Submitted by Jo Ann Scott
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