Downtown Historic Survey News

National Register of Historic Places listing

On May 27, 2021, the Iowa City Downtown Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The final nomination can be read online

Listing in the National Register of Historic Places is an honorific designation with economic benefits, such as tax credits. The National Register does not protect properties from demolition nor does it regulate changes made to a building.

Project Description

The City has been working toward listing in the National Register since 2017. At that time, the City of Iowa City hired AKAY Consulting to review the properties and history of Downtown Iowa City to determine if it was eligible for a listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The consultant met with several stakeholders and held several public meetings throughout the process. In October 2018, the consultant presented their findings and recommendations to the public and to the City Council. One recommendation included moving forward with listing in the National Register. With support from others in the community, including the Historic Preservation Commission and The Iowa City Downtown District, the City contracted with AKAY Consulting to prepare the nomination.

The boundaries of the survey area are: Clinton Street on the west, Iowa Avenue on the north, Gilbert Street on the east and Burlington Street on the south.

Public Input 

Since the project started in 2017, the City held two public meetings and the consultant also met individually with a variety of Downtown property owners and stakeholders. To conclude the project, the City hosted a final public meeting on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in the Senate Chambers at the Old Capital, located on the University of Iowa Pentacrest. Those in attendance had an opportunity to hear from the consultant and learn more about the historic nature of Iowa City’s downtown.

On October 23, 2018, the consultant presented the project at a City Council Work Session where Council directed the Historic Preservation Commission to provide recommendations on how to proceed with the results of the findings from the Downtown Survey project. 

Project Contact 

For more information about Iowa City's Historic Downtown Survey, contact Historic Preservation Planner Jessica Bristow at jessica-bristow@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5243