Historic Preservation


National Trust for Historic Preservation

NTHP works to save America’s historic places.


State Historical Society of Iowa

SHSI in Iowa City has resources that can provide information about historic properties in the area.


Iowa Site Inventory Form

This is the standard form used by the State Historic Preservation Office to record information on an architectural or historical property.


State Historic Preservation Office

SHPO's mission is to identify, preserve, and protect Iowa’s historic resources. Find information about nominating a building to the National Register here, as well as information about tax credits.


Statewide Historic Preservation Plan


Advisory Council on Historic Preservation


National Historic Preservation Act


National Main Street Center

The National Main Street Center works with a nationwide network of communities to encourage preservation-based economic revitalization, and has participated in the renewal of more than 2,000 older commercial districts during its 30-year history.



Donovan Rypkema is principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm. The firm specializes in services to public and non-profit sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic structures.

Construction & Demolition,
Deconstruction & Salvage


Historic Salvage Conference

Our web page includes link to the November 8, 2014 Salvage Conference videos that you can watch online!


Demolition vs. Deconstruction

Very helpful FAQs about the differences between deconstruction and demolition by the ReBuilding Exchange in Chicago.


Embodied Energy Calculator

Use this calculator to get the amount of energy "embodied" (i.e. the total energy spent in the production of a building, from the manufacture of materials to their delivery to construction) in your building. Also calculate the amount of energy needed to raze, load, and haul away construction materials for a demolition.


Delta’s Deconstruction and Reuse Guide

The purpose of this guide is to help policymakers, architects and designers, homeowners, contractors, salvage retailers and economic development professionals work in concert to help create a thriving, sustainable deconstruction and reuse industry.


EPA Deconstruction Guide

Quick overview by the EPA about reclaiming used building materials.


Determining the Value of Donated Property

A helpful resource for anyone who has donated materials to the Salvage Barn.


Design for Reuse Primer

15 successful reuse projects within different sectors explored in-depth.


Building Materials Resource Association

The Building Materials Reuse Association is a non-profit educational and research organization whose mission is to advance the recovery, reuse and recycling of building materials.


Waste Reduction, Demolition and Construction Debris

A guide for building, construction and environmental professionals.


Iowa Waste Exchange

The IWE is designed to keep waste out of the landfills and in production. Many industry, business and even local governments dispose of items others can use.

Books on Preservation

General Preservation

Historic Preservation by Norman Tyler


A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia & Lee McAlester


Place, Race, and Story by Ned Kaufman


Buildings, Landscapes, and Memory by Daniel Bluestone


Old Houses by Steve Gross & Susan Daley


Invitation to Vernacular Architecture: A Guide to the Study of Ordinary Buildings and Landscapes by Thomas Carter and Elizabeth C. Cromley


About Your House with Bob Yapp by Bob Yapp and Rich Binsacca


Heritage Conservation in America: An Introduction Paperback by Donovan Rypkema &‎ Caroline Cheong


Economics of Preservation

The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader’s Guide by Donovan Rypkema


Feasibility Assessment Manual for Reusing Historic Buildings by Donovan D. Rypkema


Public-Private Partnerships and Heritage: A Practitioner’s Guide by Donovan Rypkema & Caroline Cheong


Historic Preservation and Rightsizing: Current Practices and Resources Survey Paperback by Cara Bertron  Donovan Rypkema


Window Preservation

Window Preservation Standards by Windows Preservation Collaborative (also available at the Salvage Barn for $30.00)


Save America's Windows: Caring for Older and Historic Wood Windows by John Leeke


The Window Sash Bible: A Guide to Maintaining and Restoring Old Wood Windows by Steve Jordan

Adaptive Reuse

Historic Preservation Technology: A Primer by Robert A. Young


Paint in America: The Colors of Historic Buildings by Roger W. Moss


Victorian Exterior Decoration: How to Paint Your Nineteenth-Century American House Historically by Roger W. Moss &‎ Gail Caskey Winkler


Bungalow Colors: Exteriors by Robert Schweitzer

Mail-Order Homes

Book of Homes (1936) [Print Replica of Gordon Van Tine homes] Kindle Edition


The Houses That Sears Built: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sears Catalog Homes Paperback by Rosemary Thornton


Mail-Order Homes: Sears Homes and Other Kit Houses by Rebecca L. Hunter


Montgomery Ward's Mail-Order Homes; A History and Field Guide to Wardway Homes by Rosemary Thornton and Dale Wolicki,‎ Rosemary Ringer and Wayne Ringer

Iowa City Preservation

19th Century Home Architecture of Iowa City by Margaret Keyes

Certain Stylistic Trends in Architecture in Iowa City by Edwin Charles Ellis


Finials: A View of Downtown Iowa City by Marybeth Slonneger (available at Prairie Lights and the Salvage Barn)


Iowa City: An Illustrated History  by Gerald Mansheim (available at used book stores)


American Classic by Laurence Lafore (available at the Salvage Barn and the State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City location)


Survey and Evaluation of the Central Business District: Iowa City, Iowa by Marlys A. Svendsen


1142: The History and Growth of the N. Oakes-Grant Wood-Dr. Pauline Moore-James P. Hayes House by Richard Alan King


Iowa Preservation & Historic Buildings outside Johnson County

Fairfield at the Turn of the Century by Mark Shafer

Historic Architecture of Muscatine, Iowa by The City of Muscatine

Greeting from Cedar Rapids Iowa: Cedar Rapids Historic Postcards by the Gazette

Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa by Chapman Brothers

Preservation Across Iowa

The Iowa Capitol: A Harvest of Design by Linda Johnson & Jerry Miller


Victorian Architecture of Iowa 2nd Edition by William Plymat Jr.


Iowa Stereographs: Three-Dimensional Visions of Iowa by Mary Bennett & Paul C. Juhl


Prairie Jewels: Iowa's Courthouse by David Richmond and Michael Adams (available at Prairie Lights)

Preservation Outside Iowa

Great Houses of Summit Avenue and the Hill District by Karen Melvin,‎ Paul Clifford Larson,‎ Bette Hammel ,‎ Melinda Nelson, &‎ Dave Kenney



Books & Readings on Iowa History

An Iowa Album: A Photographic History, 1860-1920 by Mary Bennett


People & Places: A Sesquicentennial Photo History of Eastern Iowa by The Gazette

Amana Colonies

Picturing Utopia: Bertha Shambaugh & the Amana Photographers by Abigail Foerstner

The Amanas Yesterday: A Religious Communal Society by Joan Liffring-Zug

Jones County, Iowa

History of Jones County, Iowa 1879- by Western Historical Company

Cedar Rapids & Linn County, Iowa

Tales of the Town: Little-Known Anecdotes of Life in Cedar Rapids by Ralph Clements

Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa by Chapman Brothers

Seven Ages of a City: A Pictorial history of Cedar Rapids by Sutherland Dows

Johnson County

Leading Events in Johnson County, Iowa History by Clarence Ray Aurner

Iowa City: a Contribution to Early Iowa History by Benjamin Shambaugh

History of Johnson County, Iowa, Containing a History of the County, and it Townships, Cities, and Villages 1836 to 1882 by Iowa City, Iowa

Lest We Forget: Coralville 1873-1973 by Jean Schwab

Lone Tree, Iowa: The Pioneers and Their Descendants by Edith Schessler, Alta Lenz, and Albert Lenz

The Burg: A Writers' Diner by Marybeth Slonneger

Wetherby's Gallery: Paintings, Duguerrotypes, & Ambrotypes of an Artist by Mary beth Slonneger  (available at the Salvage Barn, Haunted Bookshop, and Prairie Lights)

Small but Ours: Images and Stories from a Nineteenth Century Bohemain Neighborhood by Marybeth Slonneger

Iowa City: A Sense of Place by Bob Hibbs

Iowa City: A Sense of Place Volume II by Bob Hibbs

Mesquaki Nation

"Indians and the Land" chapter from An Iowa Album: A Photographic History of Iowa, 1860-1920 by Mary Bennett

 "Meskwaki Code Talkers" by Mary Bennett

William Jones by Sophilia Keahna

Polk County, Iowa

From Cabin to Capital by the State of Iowa Department of Public Instruction (history book targeting upper elementary school, 1971)

Washington County, Iowa

Sesquicentennial Washington, Iowa: Souvenir History of Washington, Iowa 1839-1989 by Peter J Weller

Wellman Iowa 1970-1979 by Wellman Centennial Commi

Van Buren County, Iowa

Van Buren County, Iowa: A Pictorial History by Villages of Van Buren


Quick Facts


Repairing existing residential buildings produces about 50% more jobs than building new ones. Nationally, about 41% of the cost of residential repair goes to labor. For new construction, that number is just 28%, meaning considerably more than half of any investment in a new home goes not to construction jobs, but to materials, equipment and things like trucking services. [The Atlantic]


Environmentally, deconstruction reduces construction and demolition (C&D) waste, reduces air pollution, reduces carbon dioxide emissions, abates the need for new landfills and incinerators, preserves resources and saves energy by decreasing the extraction and processing of raw materials, and supports sustainable building practices. [Delta]


Building-related construction and demolition (C&D) debris totals more than 136 million tons per year, or nearly 40% of the municipal solid wastestream. [EPA]


According to Environmental Building News, building construction accounts for nearly 30% of all raw material consumption [Design for Reuse Primer]


It is estimated that over 25% of the buildings existing in 2000 will be replaced by 2030. [Design for Reuse Primer]


According to the Deconstruction Institute, every ton of reused wood avoids the emission of 60 pounds of greenhouse gases created when new lumber is harvested and milled. [Design for Reuse Primer]


Savings from reuse are between 4 and 46 percent over new construction when comparing buildings with the same energy performance level. [The Greenest Building]


The Brookings Institution projects that some 82 billion square feet of existing space will be demolished and replaced between 2005 and 2030 – roughly one-quarter of today’s existing building stock. Each year, approximately 1 billion square feet of buildings are demolished and replaced with new construction. [The Greenest Building]


On average, materials are trucked 497 miles to a building site. Demolished/replaced materials travel 45 miles on average to their respective disposal or processing (e.g., recycling, incineration) destinations. In actuality, distances can vary widely, as some building materials are transported from the other side of the world. [The Greenest Building]


The Institute for Local Self-Reliance estimates deconstruction could divert up to 24 million tons of demolition waste each year for reuse. [Institute for Local Self-Reliance]


Guides & Tutorials


Preservation Briefs

These 47 briefs, published by the National Park Service, provide guidance on preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic buildings and help historic building owners recognize and resolve common problems prior to work. They cover anything from mothballing a historic home to repairing wooden shingle roofs.


Homeowner Handbook

Provides owners of existing and newly constructed homes with information and resources to assist them in efficiently operating and maintaining their homes. Emphasis on best practices for Iowa.


Reducing lead in your home


Dealing with asbestos in your home


Installing a Door Slab


Installing a Pre-Hung Interior Door


Installing a Pre-Hung Exterior Door


Determining Door Swing


Shopping for Salvaged Doors


Building a Cold Frame


Building a Salvaged Garden Gate


Interior Painting


Removing Paint from Hardware


Removing and Installing Windows


Buying Salvaged Windows


Improving Energy Efficiency in Older Homes


Embracing Energy Efficiency


Energy Efficiency Guide for Older Homes by the EPA


Plumbing How-Tos


Wood Identification


Qualities of Different Kinds of Wood


Installing Tile


Buying and Installing Used Flooring


How to paint the outside of your vintage clawfoot tub


How to fix a loose clawfoot tub


How to install plaster ceiling medallions


How to replace missing clawfoot tub feet







P.O. Box 2001

Iowa City, IA 52244


Phone: 319-351-1875

Email: alicia@ic-fhp.org



(We are transitioning back to full time hours by

March 1. Hours may change weekly until then.)

February Hours

Friday and Saturday     9-5