Photos from the Library of Congress

News boy
Old Capitol
Main street IC
Temporary capitol
downtown iowa city historic
Governor Robert Lucas House, 1030 Carrol
Building Houser-Metzger House


Downtown District National Register Nomination

The City of Iowa City has been working with an architectural historian, Alexa McDowell of AKAY Consulting, on an update to the City’s historic survey of the Downtown. The survey provides valuable information on the historical and physical character of the area. More specifically, it includes an inventory of properties and identifies their historic significance, outlines recommendations on historic district boundaries, and explains incentives available to property owners of historic structures.


The National Register Nomination was submitted to the State in July and it will be reviewed by the State Nomination Review Committee on October 8. They will send the Commission and Mayor notification and a review form for review and comment prior to the meeting. They also send out notification to all of the property owners prior to their meeting. It will likely be reviewed at the September 10 meeting.  The city will publish the agenda and provide digital copies to the public the week before the meeting.


Call to Action

Please write our Councilors and tell them you support a district designation for Downtown.


•    Laura Bergus, At-Large  laura-bergus@iowa-city.org 

•    Susan Mims, District B  susan-mims@iowa-city.org 

•    Mazahir Salih, At-Large, Mayor Pro Tem mazahir-salih@iowa-city.org 

•    Pauline Taylor, District A pauline-taylor@iowa-city.org 

•    Bruce Teague, At-Large, Mayor bruce-teague@iowa-city.org 

•    John Thomas, District C john-thomas@iowa-city.org 

•    Janice Weiner, At-Large janice-weiner@iowa-city.org


Historic Preservation


National Trust for Historic Preservation

NTHP works to save America’s historic places.

National Register of Historic Places


State Historical Society of Iowa

SHSI in Iowa City has resources that can provide information about historic properties in the area.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Main Street America

The National Main Street Center leads a movement committed to strengthening communities through preservation-based economic development in older and historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.


Historic preservation encourages cities to build on the assets they have—unleashing the enormous power and potential of older buildings to improve health, affordability, prosperity, and well-being. Ultimately, it’s the mix of old and new buildings, working together to fashion dense, walkable, and thriving streets, that helps us achieve a more prosperous, sustainable, and healthier future. By transforming the places we live to places we love, older buildings are a key and irreplaceable component of this future, and we are richer and stronger when they remain.


Donovan Rypkema is principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm. The firm specializes in services to public and non-profit sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic structures.

A Guide to Researching the History of a House

by HomeAdvisor

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