At the heart of Madison County and the center of Winterset stands our beautiful and much beloved limestone Courthouse. It is a significant building to the development of Winterset and still houses Madison County’s government offices. Many of the commercial buildings surrounding the Courthouse Square are historically intact. A desire to protect, restore and refurbish these historic treasures led to a grass-roots effort to obtain a coveted National Historic Register designation for the entire commercial district.

On December 22, 2015, the grand Madison County limestone Courthouse and historically intact commercial buildings surrounding the Square were designated as a National Historic District by the National Park Service. These buildings represent the significant historical development of Winterset and Madison County. A desire to protect, restore and refurbish these historic treasures led to four years of research to create the documentation needed to obtain the coveted National Historic Register designation for the entire commercial district.

winterset courthouse square commercial district

Map of the Winterset Courthouse Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places

Historic Photos of the Courthouse Historic District

Courthouse Historic District Nomination Document

Sample Property Registration Forms

Background: How the Process Unfolded, and What’s Next

Celebration Event: The Official Launch, January 29th, 2016

Presentation: What Makes Winterset’s Historic District Significant

Presentation: Madison County Historic Preservation Commission: Project – Progress – Stories

Media Coverage

State Historical Society of Iowa: Loren Horton Community History Award

WHO-TV Video Clip: Winterset Adds Commercial District to National Register of Historic Places

Winterset Living Article: Winterset Courthouse Square District Receives National Recognition

WHO-TV Video Clip: Winterset Hosts Preserve Iowa Summit

Winterset Madisonian Article: Panel to be honored for guiding historic district nomination effort

Thank You

The Madison County Historic Preservation Commission would like to thank these organizations/entities for their support in making the Winterset Courthouse Historic District project a success:

Allen Family Private Photograph Collection
City of Winterset
Madison County Civil War 150 Committee
Madison County Supervisors
Madison County Historical Society
Madison County Genealogical Society
Madison County Antique Association
National Park Service
State Historic Preservation Office
The Winterset Madisonian
Winterset Public Library

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