More than $850,000 awarded for historic preservation
Historic site preservation and certified local government grants announced

For immediate release Dec 11, 2007


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, including two Iowa Great Places projects.

SHSI awarded $784,597 in Historic Site Preservation Grants and $66,800 in Certified Local Governments grants. The Iowa Great Places projects receiving grants are the Corning Opera House in Adams County and the Clinton Engines Museum in Jackson County.

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. 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 a 2008 HSPG are below:

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

Ames, Iowa
City of Ames
City of Ames: Exterior Door Replacement and Rehabilitation for City Hall
The project will replace all exterior doors on the City Hall/Community Center with new wood doors that reflect the historic architectural design and materials used in the original building construction as the Ames high school in 1939.

Corning, Iowa
Corning Opera House Cultural Center
Corning Opera House Rehabilitation: Phase 3
Corning Opera House Rehabilitation Phase 3 involves preparation of construction documents necessary for Opera House rehabilitation, as well as rehabilitation of the second floor, balcony, ingress/egress areas, stairways and theatrical areas.

Davenport, Iowa
German American Heritage Center
Rehabilitation of the German American Heritage Center
This project will support Phase II rehabilitation of the Germania House, which was constructed in 1861 and is the last remaining immigrant hotel of the period in the region. Through this project, the Center will double the exhibition area, create a large programming area, significantly increase educational outreach, more than double the number of people served, improve artifact preservation and storage, and insure a more stable financial future.

Des Moines, Iowa
Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc.
Des Moines Art Center Accessibility Improvement Project
The Des Moines Art Center Accessibility Improvement Project will dramatically enhance the visitor experience for its patrons. Project components include concrete replacement around much of the building, renovated and accessible restrooms, and the addition of an exterior elevator, with respect to the historic preservation of the building.

Dubuque, Iowa
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
Restoration of Sanctuary
Historically significant Tiffany art windows, located in the pocket doors, and a unique Della Robbia frieze are part of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church’s sanctuary restoration. Frieze restoration will be done by The New Millennium Co., and The Bovard Studio of Fairfield, Iowa, will restore the windows, cleaning and correct their bowing.

Elliott, Iowa
Grant Community Preservationists
Grant Masonic Lodge Building
With the help of the Historic Site Preservation Grant, Grant Community Preservationists will begin restoration to the Grant Masonic Lodge Building. The restoration will include adding bathrooms, a kitchen and heat, as well as repairing wood floors, woodwork and stairs.  The Masonic Lodge, built in 1901, is a contributing building in the Grant Commercial Historic District.

Knoxville, Iowa
Knoxville Alumni Association – SOS Committee
Knoxville WPA Athletic Field Rehabilitation
The Knoxville WPA Athletic Field Rehabilitation project is the first stage in restoration of this important historic resource. The project focuses on rehabilitation of the pool bath house and stadium structures, including the former concession stand, existing stone walls, east and west entry towers, and some areas of the bleachers.

Maquoketa, Iowa
Jackson County Historical Society
The Clinton Engines Museum Project – Phase III
The Clinton Engines Site, once home to the world’s largest manufacturer of small gasoline engines, will soon become an exciting interactive addition to the Jackson County Historical Society Museum Complex, depicting the history of business and industry in the Upper Midwest. It’s part of the Jackson County Iowa Great Places designation.

Polk City, Iowa
Big Creek Historical Society
Big Creek Historical Society: Stairway to Yesteryear
Restoration of the city hall building in Polk City to the 1915 era will enable the structure to again become the center of activity in the community. Built in 1863, and purchased in 1894 to become town hall, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. Currently, it is one of the longest-serving municipal buildings in Iowa.

The projects awarded a 2008 CLG grant are below:

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


Ames, Iowa
Intensive Survey of College Heights Neighborhood
Ames will conduct an intensive survey and evaluation of this early 20th century neighborhood that was home to many department heads, professors and college administrators at Iowa State University.

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Intensive Survey of Downtown Commercial District
This grant will be used to undertake an intensive survey of Coon Rapids’ nine-block commercial district.

Dubuque, Iowa
Dubuque Downtown Design Guidelines
The goal of this project is to develop a design guidelines manual for Dubuque’s downtown area.

Monona County
Survey of Onawa Historic Downtown District
In anticipation of Onawa’s sesquicentennial in 2009, Monona County will conduct an intensive survey and evaluation of the town’s commercial district.

Sioux City, Iowa
Survey of Downtown Commercial District
This grant will enable Sioux City to conduct an intensive survey of its downtown commercial buildings and evaluate those buildings for National Register eligibility.

Washington, Iowa
Planning for Preservation Project
This grant will enable Washington to hire a preservation consultant who will provide training and help the historic preservation commission develop a plan to survey and evaluate historic properties within the city.

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. SHSI is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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