Dubuque's Millwork District added to list - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's Millwork District added to list

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DUBUQUE, Iowa -- There are now eight historic districts in the city of Dubuque listed in the National Register of Historic Places with the addition of the Dubuque Historic Millwork District at White, Jackson, Washington, and Elm Streets between East 6th and East 11th Streets.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation's cultural resources worthy of preservation. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service. Listing in the National Register in Iowa assists in preserving historic properties through: recognition that a property is of significance to the nation, the state, or the community; consideration in the planning for federal or federally assisted projects; or eligibility for federal and state tax benefits.

This 19-building industrial complex comprises the core buildings of two giant Dubuque millwork companies, Carr, Ryder and Adams and Farley and Loetscher.  The district also comprises the only intact cluster of surviving major industrial buildings in Dubuque.  The massive buildings are without doubt the largest Iowa examples of their era.  The district includes all or portions of nine city blocks.  The north four blocks represent the buildings of the Carr, Ryder and Adams Company while the south three blocks area represents Farley and Loetscher Company.  Brick streets and still-functioning railroad spurs add key distinctive features to the district. 

Architecturally, the district comprises the core of Dubuque's only concentrated cluster of substantial industrial buildings.  Historically, the district represents the industrial transition of Dubuque from lumber production to millwork production, and the replacement of Upper Mississippi River timber sources with West Coast sources.  Two industrial giants, the Farley and Loetscher Company, which claimed to be the largest millworking firm in the world, and the Carr, Ryder and Adams Company, emerged over time and dominated the district with their respective warehouse and factory complexes.  These collectively illustrate both the styles and the building technologies of this class of building.  Historically, the district is directly associated with Dubuque's industrial history.  As of 1870, Dubuque was the most industrialized city in the state and that economic sector remained vital to the city's continuing prosperity.  The most notable district buildings and firms included in this district were the largest of their trades in the world.

The district contains the majority of the key buildings that were associated with the Carr, Ryder & Adams and Farley-Loetscher millwork companies, two firms that were leaders in the city's industrial sector.  Lumber-processing was a major Dubuque industrial sector and the long-term success of these firms transcended the regional demise of lumber shipping and processing that otherwise ended along the Mississippi River during the years prior to World War I. 

Planning Services Manager Laura Carstens said, "Listing of the Historic Millwork District in the National Register will foster opportunities for retention of existing businesses as well as recruitment and expansion of new businesses into the substantial floor space that the existing large warehouses offer. National Register listing is an important tool both for historic preservation and economic development as the City and district property owners move forward with the District Master Plan recently approved by the City Council."

For more information about the Dubuque Historic Millwork District visit www.cityofdubuque.org/millworkdistrict, or contact the Planning Services Department at (563) 589-4210 or planning@cityofdubuque.org.

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