SHSI awards $850,000 in historic preservation grants
Historic site preservation and certified local government programs

For immediate release November 27, 2006


Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) –The State Historical Society of Iowa today announced it has awarded more than $850,000 in grants for historic preservation projects throughout the state.

SHSI awarded $786,460 in Historic Site Preservation Grants and $66,916 in Certified Local Governments grants at a recent board meeting in Iowa City.

The Historic Site Preservation Grant (HSPG) program provides funds to acquire, repair, rehabilitate, and develop historic sites that preserve, interpret or promote Iowa’s cultural heritage. Projects funded by this program must promote an understanding of the record of human experience within Iowa. All HSPG projects are limited to work on vertical infrastructure – land acquisition for construction, major rehabilitation of buildings, all appurtenant structures, utilities and site developments.

The Certified Local Governments (CLG) grant program is available to cities, counties and land-use districts in the CLG program. This grant program funds a range of activities related to historic preservation including planning; identification, evaluation and registration of historic resources; pre-development; and public education.

The projects awarded an HSPG are below:

(Grant Number)
(Grant Recipient)
(Grant Amount)
(Project Description)

Des Moines Historical Society
Des Moines County Historic Center
Burlington, Iowa}
The Des Moines County Historical Society in Burlington is preparing the former public library for adaptive reuse as a historical museum. Respecting the historic structure must remain paramount while resolving code issues, improving environmental controls, and developing functional, efficient plans. The project provides for expanded exhibit and storage space and proper artifact conservation.

Grant Wood Studio – Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Preservation of the Grant Wood Studio
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Restoration will focus on roof, skylights, cupola, weather vane, steel casement windows, wood double-hung windows, and deteriorating wood framing. Exterior woodwork and trim will be repaired, primed and painted. Portions that are not original but must remain, such as exposed gutters, will be repaired to protect the structure from further deterioration.

City of Charles City
Suspension Bridge Rehabilitation
Charles City, Iowa
Charles City’s historic suspension bridge recently celebrated its centennial. After a century of service, the footbridge is in need of structural restoration to secure this landmark for the enjoyment of future generations. The project calls for installing concrete pier jackets, lighting upgrades, hardware replacement and safety modifications. This grant award is contingent on the applicant utilizing appropriate rehabilitation standards in the project.

French Icarian Colony Foundation
Interior Restoration of 1878 Icaria Refectory
Corning, Iowa
A unique, rich chapter in Iowa’s history will come alive with the interior restoration of the 1878 Icaria refectory (communal dining hall) at the French Icarian Colony Village, a living history center being developed on original Icaria land northeast of Corning. The restored refectory will play a key role in the interpretation of the Icarians quest for Utopia in Adams County 1852-1898. This grant award is contingent on the applicant utilizing appropriate rehabilitation standards in the project.

First Baptist Church of Davenport
Stained Glass Window and Entry Door Restoration
Davenport, Iowa
The project will restore the 52 original, individual stained glass windows in the church and install proper, vented storm windows to the exterior for their protection. The two sets of non-historic entry doors will be restored to their historic appearance with new wood doors with inset panels.

Dubuque County Historical Society
National Landmark Steamboat William M. Black Restoration
Dubuque, Iowa
This grant will match federal “Save America’s Treasures” funds to restore the smokestacks, preserve the main deck and wooden superstructure, and restore the Black’s tender boat and pipeline barge.

City of Dubuque
White Water Creek Bridge Rehabilitation
Dubuque, Iowa
After relocation to the Bergfeld Recreation Area, the historic White Water Creek Bridge will be refurbished. Existing lead paint will be removed and the bridge will be repainted. Decking and hand railing will be replaced so the bridge is ready for use as part of the park’s trail system.

Clayton County Conservation Board
Motor Mill Restoration Project
Elkader, Iowa
The Motor Mill Historic Site contains five limestone structures along with the 90-foot tall Motor Mill located along the Turkey River southeast of Elkader, Iowa. The project will replace the deteriorating roof structures on the Mill and Inn, thus preserving each structure until future restoration efforts can be accomplished.

Story City Historical Society
Bartlett Museum Carriage House
Story City, Iowa
Designed to resemble an early 20th-century carriage house, the Bartlett Museum Carriage House is a multi-purpose facility that will serve as a gathering place for the community to learn about its rich heritage. The building also meets current guidelines for artifact preservation and storage, allows researchers access to objects and documents, enables the historical society to change exhibits, and provides proper space for future acquisitions. This grant award is contingent on the applicant utilizing appropriate rehabilitation standards in the project.

The list of projects awarded a CLG grant is below:

(Grant Number)
(Grant Recipient)
(Amount of Grant)
(Summary of Project)

Adel Public Square
This project will nominate the commercial blocks surrounding the Dallas County Courthouse to the National Register of Historic Places.

Phase I Four Mounds Archaeological Investigation
The Four Mounds Foundation will undertake an intensive survey and evaluation so that significant archaeological resources can be located and accommodated when planning future site enhancements.

Henry County
Reconnaissance Level Survey of East Half of Salem Township
This project is a survey of approximately 600 resources related to two historical contexts – The Society of Friends in and around Salem 1837-c. 1960, and Farms and Farmsteads in Salem Township 1833-c. 1960.

Jones County
Stone City Historic District nomination
This grant will enable the applicant to nominate the village of Stone City to the National Register of Historic Places.

Jones County
Anamosa Downtown Historic District nomination
The Jones County CLG will use this grant to nominate a four-block commercial district to the National Register of Historic Places.

Le Mars, Iowa
Foster Park Historic District nomination
This project will fund the nomination of a residential neighborhood surrounding Foster Park to the National Register of Historic Places.

Linn County
Phase II Testing of Archaeological Sites
This project is part of a comprehensive study of Linn County and will identify archaeological sites and architectural properties eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in six subsections.

Northwood, Iowa
Northwood Historic Central Ave. Walking Tour & Brochure
This grant will be used to develop an architectural walking tour of Northwood’s business district and fund the cost of printing an accompanying brochure.

The State Historical Society of Iowa 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 or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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