DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has announced historic preservation and community history awards that recognize individuals and groups for their work to preserve Iowa’s historical assets over the past year. The awards were presented by the Board of Trustees of the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of DCA.
“We are pleased to recognize the efforts of individuals who have worked tirelessly over the past year to preserve Iowa’s history,” DCA Director Mary Cownie said. “These awards honor those who devote their time and energy to make sure our state’s history is preserved for future generations of Iowans to enjoy.”
The Preservation Projects of Merit Award recognizes projects that exemplify the best of historic preservation practices, meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings, utilize the state historic preservation and cultural and entertainment district tax credit program, and were successfully completed in the previous state fiscal year.
The SHSI Board of Trustees approved the following Preservation Projects of Merit Awards:
Judith A. McClure Award
This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a residential property.
Henning J. Witt Home, 604 Gaines Street in Davenport
- Built in 1894 and owned by Maurice and Lois Woods. The Henning J. Witt Home is a contributing structure in the Hamburg Historic District.
- Rehabilitation Costs: $172,589
- Total Project Costs: $172,589
The Henning J. Witt Home rehabilitation project addressed both interior and exterior issues, from plumbing and electrical to exterior paint. The owners paid great attention to historic details, including repairing the foyer tiles, restoring eight historic transoms, removing layers of paint to find the original craftsman stenciling, and installing a new stencil pattern. This house is pivotal in the community and has the potential to have a high impact on other properties.
Adrian D. Anderson Award
This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a small historic preservation project (a project with qualified rehabilitation costs of $500,000 or less).
Oliver Herrick’s Post Office (aka Aqualand Store), 3600 6th Avenue in Des Moines
- Built in 1919 and owned by Parks Area Foundation
- Rehabilitation Costs: $357,136
- Total Project Costs: $576,935 ($219,799 non-eligible City of Des Moines grant)
This project was recognized for its high attention to detail, transforming the façade to the original design and paying equal attention to both facades. Research was done to return the stucco to the historic thickness, color, and make-up. As a corner structure, there is greater potential for rehabilitation to have a positive impact on the neighborhood.
Margaret Keyes Award
This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a large historic preservation project (a project with qualified rehabilitation costs of $500,000 or more).
Iowana Hotel, 203 West Montgomery Street in Creston
- Built in 1920 and owned by Hotel Iowana Limited Partnership
- Rehabilitation Costs: $4,847,730
- Total Project Costs: $5,761,274 ($913,544 non-eligible grant)
This project, located in the southern part of the state, not only saved the building from ruin but also demonstrates excellent attention to detail, especially on the interior plaster capitals and the exterior re-pointing. The work was completed with little ability to recuperate the investment as it is intended to become low and moderate income housing.
William J. Wagner Award
This award recognizes the historic preservation project which best exemplifies the use of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.
City National Bank, 2-4 South Federal in Mason City
- Built in 1910 and owned by Wright on the Park, Inc.
- Rehabilitation Costs: $5,687,607
- Total Project Costs: $6,138,725
An extant hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the building is an excellent example of adaptive re-use. Rather than recreating the bank set-up, it is programmable space and, therefore, more sustainable. Extensive rehabilitation work included rebuilt cast iron steel doors/gates and the lights. Strips of glass were found in mortar joints when interiors were stripped off of the upper floor – a detail used in two of his homes as part of the chimney design. The bank/hotel project has increased tourism, surpassing their expectations, with about 10,000 visitors.
In addition, the SHSI Board of Trustees announced four Community History Awards. Through this awards program, SHSI recognizes individuals, organizations, and communities who have made outstanding contributions to the study and practice of Iowa history.
The list of Community History Awards announced by SHSI follows:
This award recognizes an individual, group, or organization that has made significant long-term or continuing contributions to Iowa history.
- Co-Recipients: River City Society for Historic Preservation and Wright on the Park
- RCSHP was recognized for its work in saving the Stockman House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1908. The group has given educational tours of the building and provided information about Wright and Prairie School for 20 years. RCSHP was also recognized for opening an architectural interpretive center in 2012. Designed in neo-Prairie style, it serves as an information center, educational facility and a starting point for tours of Mason City’s large collection of Prairie Style homes.
- Wright on the Park was formed in 2005 to oversee the preservation of the City National Bank and Hotel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in Mason City in 1910. In 2011, the building re-opened as The Historic Park Inn Hotel, a 27-room hotel and conference center. Its restoration includes the exterior and public spaces returned as close as possible to Wright’s design. In 2012, more than 4,000 people took paid tours of the restored building.
Loren Horton Community History Award
The Loren Horton Community History Award recognizes the best project that increases the awareness of and participation in Iowa history on a local level.
- Co-Recipients: Jim Artlip and Linda Artlip Weinstein were recognized for their work in creating a website, www.VHSgrads.com, that includes lists of Villisca High School graduates by name and year; scanned copies of high school yearbooks; links to the Senior Editions of the Volcano (1931-1949); composite photos; VHS Alumni Association minutes (1884-1931); and a collection of photos documenting school buildings over 147 years and other pieces of school history.
Benjamin F. Shambaugh Award
This annual award recognizes the author of the most significant book published on Iowa history during the previous calendar year.
- Recipient: “The Farm at Holstein Dip: An Iowa Boyhood” by Carroll Engelhardt
- Honorable Mention: “Centerville: A Mid-American Saga” by Enfys McMurry
- Honorable Mention: “Madam Chairman: Mary Louise Smith and the Republican Revival after Watergate” by Suzanne O’Dea
Mills/Noun Popular History Award
This award recognizes the author of the most significant article on an Iowa history topic published in a popular history periodical during the previous calendar year.
- Recipient: “Iowans Harry Hopkins and Henry A. Wallace Helped Craft Social Security’s Blueprint” by David E. Balducchi. Iowa Heritage Illustrated
- Honorable Mention: “Pammel Court: A Solution to Housing World War II Veterans at Iowa State College” by David Holmgren. Iowa Heritage Illustrated
- Honorable Mention: “The Search for the Zephyr Bomber” by Roy Marshall. Iowa Heritage Illustrated
Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information about the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.