Ames Main Street Historic District (NRIS 100002399)
Roughly 100-400 blks. of Main & 5th Sts. with cross streets of Burnett, Kellogg, Douglas & Duff Sts.,
Iowa. County/parish: Story.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places
May 10, 2018.
- Ames Main Street Historic District
- Ames Main Street Historic District is a nationally recognized historic district located in Ames, Iowa, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. At the time of its nomination it consisted of 81 resources, which included 76 contributing buildings, and 15 non-contributing buildings. The district covers most of the city's central business district. The area began to develop after the Civil War along the Chicago and North Western (CNW) tracks. The district was also served by the Ames & College Railway and its successor, the Fort Dodge, Des Moines, & Southern Interurban Streetcar line, from 1891 to 1929. The later connected downtown Ames and the CNW depot with Iowa State College, now known as Iowa State University.
Most of the buildings in the district are two stories in height and constructed in brick. There are also several single-story structures and a few that rise to three stories. The facades and storefronts run continuously along the blocks with only two breaks for vacant lots that have been transformed into public park plazas. Downtown Ames is somewhat unique in Iowa in that the facades of the commercial buildings were radically rehabilitated from the late 1910s and into the 1960s, giving them a more modern appearance. While other communities in the state also saw updates to the buildings in their main commercial areas, the difference here is that it was "nearly universal and helped the central business district retain a unified feeling of design." The Municipal Building (1916) and the Masonic Temple (1917) are individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (read more...)
- Municipal Building (Ames, Iowa)
- The Municipal Building, also known as Youth & Shelter Services, is a historic building located in Ames, Iowa, United States. It is significant for its association with the Progressive Movement reforms implemented by the city in the early 20th century. Previous to the construction of this facility in 1916 the city council, mayor, municipal offices, fire department and the police department, including the city jail and police court, were all housed in separate buildings. They were combined here in an effort to increase efficiency, professionalism, and the scope of city services. Per the Progressive Movement, all of these functions were housed in different zones in the building. The fire department was located on the backside of the building, and the archways where the fire engines doors were located are still visible.
The two-story, brick, Neoclassical style building was designed by the Des Moines architectural firm of Liebbe, Nourse & Rasmussen. It was built by J. E. Tusant of Des Moines for $37,310. It remained the seat of local government until 1990 when it moved into the present city hall. The building sat empty for several years before it was purchased by Youth & Shelter Services, a local human services agency, for their offices. It was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. It was included as a contributing property in the Ames Main Street Historic District in 2018. (read more...)
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/100002399