Preserve Iowa Summit convenes today

Fort Dodge welcomes important statewide gathering

A statewide conference known as the Preserve Iowa Summit convenes in Fort Dodge today and will run through Saturday. It brings together an eclectic collection of Iowans who will share their knowledge and perspectives on the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings and sites. The participants will include professionals in various aspects of preservation as well as folks from all over the Hawkeye State who have an interest in making certain that structures with historic importance do not vanish from Iowa’s towns and cities.

It is no accident that our town was selected to host this impressive gathering. Fort Dodge has an excellent record of preserving historic buildings and venues and keeping them a vital part of our community in the 21st century.

With that in mind, registrants will have the opportunity to visit sites in Fort Dodge where important preservation work has been completed, is underway or is on the drawing boards. These tours will feature:

• Karl King Bandshell in Oleson Park,

• The former Phillips Middle School,

• Warden Plaza,

• U.S. Gypsum Co.

• Sculptures throughout Fort Dodge.

Historic property owners, preservation enthusiasts, developers and local government officials are among those who have been encouraged to attend this three-day event and the response has been outstanding. Attendance is expected to exceed 250.

The summit is being coordinated by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office, the city of Fort Dodge, the Fort Dodge Historic Preservation Commission, and Preservation Iowa, which is a group that works to educate the public and policy makers on historic preservation issues.

The Messenger welcomes the Preserve Iowa Summit to our hometown. Our community has a strong commitment to historic preservation. We are delighted to have the opportunity to share what has been done here and to learn from the summit’s participants additional ways we can achieve even more in the years ahead.