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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. The University of Iowa purchased the home in 2018. A plan to relocate the house has fallen through and its future is uncertain. 

Carson House, 906 E College St, Frederic

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

downtown iowa city historic.jpg


40 Years of Historic Preservation in Iowa City

This video was presented at the Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony on September 28, 2023.

Historic Preservation Award Winners 2021

Hosted by the Iowa City Historic Preservation Commission and the Friends of Historic Preservation, this annual event recognizes property owners, consultants, contractors, craftspersons, and community organizations for their preservation efforts and completion of historically appropriate projects in several award categories.

Black History Month Programming


Members' Discount Day @ The Salvage Barn

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!

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