May is a month of many graduation celebrations; congratulations to all the newly minted Iowa State University alumni! It is also, in the United States, a month for recognizing historic preservation efforts across the United States. During National Preservation Month, federal government agencies as diverse as the National Park Service and the General Services Administration recognize the work that is being done on government-owned properties and structures.
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Lest this seem like something that is focused on structures like the Washington Monument, preservation of historic sites and buildings is done all around Iowa. On the Park Service’s page devoted to the month, Dubuque and its historic landmarks are highlighted. In the National Register of Historic Places, thirty-four structures in Story County are listed, including a number of the University’s classroom buildings, the Bandshell Park Historic District, Ames High School, and the Old Town neighborhood. Every time we walk past or through Morrill Hall, we are experiencing history. One hundred twenty-three years of history, to be exact.
Check out the National Register’s website for more information and search tools on historic sites around the United States. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a tip sheet (link opens a PDF) regarding its efforts and affects in Iowa as well.
As part of its sesquicentennial (150 year) celebrations, Ames will have a Home and Garden Tour through the Old Town neighborhood next month, on June 22. Though not part of National Preservation Month, it will be a great way to get to know more about this local historic district and the roots of the town. For more information on ISU’s preservation sites and architectural history, search through our Special Collections website or come visit us in 403 Parks Library with your questions.