Washington St. 1940 Photo via Library of Congress


Call to Action!

Help Save Iowa City’s Oldest House


Please contact City Council members ASAP and urge them to vote “yes” on the Sanxay-Gilmore agreement. Email them at council@iowa-city.org


The Sanxay-Gilmore House at 109 Market (just west of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church) will be the focus of a City Council vote on Tuesday, June 16. The Council will vote on an agreement drafted by City staff and the University of Iowa, current owner of the house. The agreement spells out that the City would convey to the UI a 24-spot parking lot (1/5 of an acre), which is across the street from 109 Market. The university would move the house to the lot; remodel it for UI use, following preservation guidelines; and have the option, after 40 years, to return it to the City.


Friends of Historic Preservation (FHP), along with the Historic Preservation Commission, has long been working to save the Sanxay-Gilmore House. Although we hoped the house would be preserved in its current location, the proposed agreement is a sound solution. Please help preserve this icon of early Iowa City so it can be used and appreciated far into the future.



June 6, 2020 Newsletter


Members' Discount Day @ The Salvage Barn

March 7th, April 4th, May 2nd....

On the first Saturday of each month, we will have special discount prices available for members of the Friends of Historic Preservation! Discounts vary from month to month! You can purchase a membership on the day of the sale, for as little as $30 a year, which also gets you access to the Tool Library!

Featured Locations

Sanxay Gilmore House


Built in 1843 at 109 E. Market, the Sanxay-Gilmore House is Iowa City’s oldest house within the original city limits.  Its future is uncertain. Help us keep an eye on the handsome, historic Sanxay-Gilmore House. 

Thomas C. Carson House (Alpha Phi House)


Thomas Carson, a banker and merchant, had this house built in 1875 for $8,000. Carson is said to have arrived New Year's Eve 1855 on the first train to reach Iowa City (Weber, 1992). Carson was president of the Johnson County Savings bank from 1877-1905. This Second Empire style of architecture was popular after the civil war from 1860s-1880s and inspired by the architecture coming out of France during the reign of Napoleon III. The house was built with a fireplace in each of the 14 rooms and a bathroom in every bedroom. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Today the house serves as a home for the Alpha Phi sorority.

📷: Carson House, 906 E College St, Frederick W. Kent Collection, Special Collections, The University of Iowa Libraries

Jefferson Building


The Jefferson Building is located at 129 East Washington Street and was designed by architects H. L. Stevens Co. of Chicago. Built 1913, the Jefferson Hotel's “modern” amenities, such as an electric elevator, an artesian well, telephones, electric lights, and hot and cold running water, made it a premier hotel in Iowa at the time. The Jefferson Hotel opened as a six-story building in 1913. Two more stories were added in the 1920s, bringing it to its current 8-story height.

📷: Busy downtown scene near Racines Cigar Store and Hotel Jefferson Iowa City, Iowa between 1920 and 1925, Frederick W. Kent Collection, Special Collections, The University of Iowa Libraries

© 2019  Friends of Historic Preservation

Mailing Address

PO Box 2001

Iowa City, IA 52244

Salvage Barn

2401 Scott Blvd

Iowa City, IA

(319) 351-1875

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