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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release June 4, 2009

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

SHSI announces historic preservation, community history awards

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Society of Iowa recognized “National Historic Preservation Month” in May by announcing numerous historic preservation and community history awards and certificates.

The awards and certificates recognize historians, historic preservationists and other individuals and groups for their work in 2008 to preserve Iowa’s rich heritage.

“These awards and certificates are recognition of our historic assets and the efforts undertaken last year to preserve them,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson said. “We are pleased to recognize the projects and the people who devote their time, energy and resources to ensure our heritage is kept alive for future generations of Iowans to enjoy.”

Following is the list of awards and certificates issued during May:

These awards recognize historic preservation projects that exemplify the best of preservation practices, meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s “Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings,” and use the state historic preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District tax credit program.

Judith A. McClure Award
This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a residential property.
The Albert B. Cummin’s Home, 821 16th Street, Des Moines, Iowa
Owned by Rob and Michele McCammon. This building was moved from 1505 Pleasant Street in 2006 and made an immediate and positive impact in the neighborhood. It has been determined to be a contributing resource in the Sherman Hill Historic District. The rehabilitation revealed numerous historic features long-hidden when it was converted from the home of a former governor of Iowa into an apartment building. Originally built c.1882, the building is once again a fine home.

Adrian D. Anderson Award
This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a small historic preservation project (e.g., a project with qualified rehabilitation costs of $500,000 or less.
R.A. Buck Building, 129 West Main Street, State Center, Iowa
Owned by Jason Kirke. Built in 1895, this building is listed as a contributing resource in the State Center Commercial Historic District. The rehabilitation of this building focused on the storefront and facade treatments.

Margaret Keyes Award
This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a large historic preservation project.
Antler’s Hotel, 1703 Hill Avenue, Spirit Lake, Iowa
Owned by Community Housing Initiatives, Doug LaBounty, president, Spencer. This $3 million project included rehabilitation of the exterior and interior of this building. Built in 1902, the hotel has been converted into 14 low and moderate income rental units.

William J. Wagner Award
This award recognizes the historic preservation project that best exemplified the use of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.
John Gronen German Bank Building, LLLP, 342 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
This 1901 property was extensively damaged by fire and is a contributing resource in the Old Main Historic District. The rehabilitation of this outstanding example of late Renaissance Revival commercial architecture, and its extensive and elaborate terra cotta embellishments, is a testament to its German ethnic heritage.

Jointly administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office, the Certified Local Government Program is a model and a cost-effective local, state and federal partnership that promotes historic preservation at the grassroots level across the nation.

2009 Award Recipients
Clinton, $1,500. Walking Tour Brochure of Downtown Clinton
Coon Rapids, $1,344, Preservation Leadership Training
Davenport, $4,680, Walking/Driving Tour Brochures for Davenport’s Historic Districts
Decorah, $5,598, Planning for Preservation Project
Dubuque County, $11,166, Reconnaissance Survey of Peru Township
Fort Dodge, $9,250, Nomination of the Fort Dodge Commercial District to the National Register
Iowa Falls, $5,400, Intensive Survey of Downtown Iowa Falls Commercial District
Marion, $15,505, Survey and Evaluation of the 6th Avenue Neighborhood
Newton, $5,304, Planning for Preservation Project
Ottumwa, $5,895, North Fellows Nomination and Post-World War II Multiple Property Document
Ottumwa, $1,545, “Preservation in Progress” Workshop for Iowa’s preservation partners

This award recognizes the author of the most significant article on an Iowa history topic published in a popular history periodical during previous calendar years. It is named in honor of Iowa reporter and popular historian George Mills and Iowa historian and philanthropist Louise Noun.

2006 Recipient
Philip G. Hockett, “As if in a Dream: Automobile Projects and Production in Iowa, 1870-1983,” Iowa Heritage Illustrated, Winter 2006.

2006 Honorable Mention
Dennis Black, “Courage and Conduct: Francis J. Herron,” Iowa Heritage Illustrated, Summer 2006.
Robert B. Mitchell, “Untamed Greenbacker: James Baird Weaver,” Iowa Heritage Illustrated, Fall 2006.

2007 Recipient
Robert R. Dykstra, “Race, Courage, and Discipline in Iowa’s Heroic Age,” Iowa Heritage Illustrated, Spring 2007.

2007 Honorable Mention
Diane Glass, “An American Rhythm,” The Iowan, Sept/Oct 2007

This award recognizes the most significant book published on Iowa history during the previous calendar year.

2009 Award Recipient
Robert Mitchell, for “Skirmisher: The Life, Times, and Political Career of James B. Weaver” (Edinborough Press) – “Skirmisher” is the first full-length biography published since 1919 of James B. Weaver, the 19th-century Iowa politician whose two campaigns for the White House helped alter the course of American politics. “Skirmisher” is the first full-length biography of Weaver published since 1919. Weaver ran twice for president, once as the nominee of the Greenback-Labor Party in 1880 and again as the Populist nominee in 1892, when he carried four states. Each campaign helped to legitimize economic and political doctrines later adopted by Democrats and Republicans and changed the way presidential candidates seek the highest office in the land. Weaver also served three terms in Congress.

The Loren Horton Community History Award recognizes the best project that increases the awareness of and participation in Iowa history on a local level.

Award Recipient
North Bend Community Center and the North Bend Writers Group – The North Bend Community Center Association and the North Bend Writers Group are recognized for their long term effort to preserve the North Bend One-Room School and preserve the history of Fairfield Township in Jackson County. This is used as a local education center to teach visitors about the history and experiences in a one-room school plus it serves as a community room. The North Bend Writers group is an outgrowth of the association’s membership. The group has researched, organized and published several books about the school and histories of other buildings in the community. They also researched, wrote and published “The Land Between Two Bridges,” a self-guided tour of the northern half of Fairfield Township.

Certificates of Recognition Recipients

Outstanding Project by a Historical Society
Mahaska County Historical Society undertook the relocation of one of the last mostly-intact house in Oskaloosa that was moved from the historic coal-mining town of Buxton, Iowa. The house would have been demolished if it had not been moved to the Mahaska County Historical Society’s Nelson Pioneer Farms located just southeast of Oskaloosa. The house exterior will be restored, and it will be used to interpret the racially integrated early-20th century town of Buxton.

Outstanding Youth Project
McKinley Elementary School Teacher’s and Students (Muscatine, Iowa). The teachers and 5th-grade students created the “One Room School ABC Book.”  The project focused on a one-room school preserved at Wild Cat Den State Park, and the illustrated book addressed other one-room school experiences.

Outstanding Research and Publication
Carnegie-Stout Public Library, Randolph Lyon and Robert Reding for “Encyclopedia Dubuque.” With over 2,200 articles and 960 images, “Encyclopedia Dubuque” at www.encyclopediadubuque.org is the most comprehensive and important online resource about the history and culture of Dubuque. It is a revised and expanded version of the 1991 print edition of Lyon’s popular reference work. “Encyclopedia Dubuque” provides free, around-the-clock access to historical information about Dubuque to anyone with Internet access. It is continuously revised and updated by author Randolf Lyon. Robert Reding contributed hundreds of photographs, illustrations and historical documents from his extensive collections.

The “Kids Count!” awards recognize Iowa libraries, archives and museums for providing outstanding service to young student researchers.

Certificate of Achievement Recipients
Deere & Company Archives
Lilly Library, Indiana University

Certificate of Merit Recipient
Buena Vista University, Ballou Library

Contact the State Historical Society of Iowa at 515-281-5111 for more information.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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