Washington St. 1940 Photo via Library of Congress


Iowa City’s Oldest House saved & to serve as home for the UI nonfiction writing program 


The Board of Regents approved the transfer of 0.2 acres of land from Iowa City to the University of Iowa at their July 29, 2020 meeting. After negotiations between Iowa City and the Univerisity, the Sanxay-Gilmore house at 109 E. Market will be moved to the lot across the streen and used as the new home of UI’s nonfiction writing program. The university will be responsible for all costs associated with moving the two-story Greek Revival house and renovating it for its new use. Officials said they plan to cover the massive moving and renovation expenses with a “substantial gift."

Per the agreement, UI will be responsible for maintaining and preserving the home “with sensitivity to the age, architecture, and historic nature” for at least 40 years. If UI no longer has use for the home within the 40-year period, ownership will revert to the city, according to the agreement. 

Read More at The Gazette

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.  The home will be relocated, undergo restoration work, and find new purpose within the UI writers' programs. 

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

© 2020  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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