Community Development Block Grant Will Preserve Courthouse Historic District

In 2017 the City of Winterset applied for and received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The funding will be used to revitalize 18 eligible storefronts in Winterset’s Courthouse Square Historic District.

In 2017 and 2018 project architects, RDG Planning & Design of Des Moines, met with each participating property owner to determine the scope of work for each building. The terms of the grant require attention to the Secretary of the Interior’s Preservation Standards for historic buildings. Work on the project, which goes out to bid in March, will likely begin in April/May of 2018 and be completed in 2019.

To learn more about Winterset’s project and what the revitalization entails, read this article by RDG Planning & Design.

Working with Historic Properties

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and accompayning guidelines. are common sense historic preservation principles in non-technical language. The Standards and Guidelines can be applied to historic properties of all types, materials, construction, sizes, and use. They include both the exterior and the interior and extend to a property’s landscape features, site, environment, as well as related new construction.

  • Standards are a series of concepts about maintaining, repairing, and replacing historic materials, as well as designing new additions or making alterations. The Standards offer four distinct approaches to the treatment of historic properties—preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction – with Guidelines for each. They are regulatory for all grant-in-aid projects assisted through the National Historic Preservation Fund. The Standard for Rehabilitation (link: http://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/rehabilitation.htm)is of special interest because it is used for the review done as part of the Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program.
  • Guidelines offer general design and technical recommendations to assist in applying the Standards to a specific property. Together, they provide a framework and guidance for decision-making about work or changes to a historic property. They are advisory, not regulatory.

Federal agencies use the Standards and Guidelines in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities. State and local officials use them in reviewing both Federal and nonfederal rehabilitation proposals. Historic district and planning commissions across the country use the Standards and Guidelines to guide their design review processes.

The four approaches to the treatment of historic properties are:

  1. Preservation focuses on the maintenance and repair of existing historic materials and retention of a property’s form as it has evolved over time.
  2. Rehabilitation acknowledges the need to alter or add to a historic property to meet continuing or changing uses while retaining the property’s historic character.
  3. Restoration depicts a property at a particular period of time in its history, while removing evidence of other periods.
  4. Reconstruction re-creates vanished or non-surviving portions of a property for interpretive purposes.

Helpful Links

Iowa’s State Historical Preservation Office

Complete Standards and Guidelines

Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings

Preservation Briefs (Technical How-To’s)

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives

State of Iowa Historic Preservation Tax Incentives

National Register of Historic Places Program: Fundamentals

National Register of Historic Places Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Return to Winterset Courthouse Square & National Historic Register

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