CEDAR FALLS | Having completed a survey of historically significant buildings, preservationists are poised to create a historic district in downtown Cedar Falls.
The potential district encompasses most of the city's historic commercial buildings along Main Street from First Street to a little south of Fourth Street, as well as a couple adjacent blocks.
If the district gains recognition by the National Register of Historic places, some of the buildings within it will be eligible for grants and historic tax credits for renovation.
“That’s the benefit. It’s one piece of paper and every contributing building becomes eligible for those,” said local historian Tom Connors, who serves on the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. “Otherwise you’d have to apply for each individual (building).”
In identifying the district, surveyors led by consultant Jennifer Price examined 110 buildings downtown for historical features. The potential historic district includes 59 late nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings built between 1860 and 1960.
Of the building examined, 46 of were identified as significantly historic. Four of the 46 buildings are already listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Those buildings are the Oster Regent Theater, the Black Hawk Hotel, the Soho building and the Odd Fellows Building.
Some of the other significantly historic buildings that have yet to gain designations by the National Register are the Maid Rite and the True North building at the corner of Main and Third Streets, according to Connors.
Having identified the potential district, the next step is to submit a nomination with the National Register of Historic Places, a process that Connors expects will take another year or so.
If and when the nomination is approved, it would then be passed on to the City Council for final approval.
“This is not going headlong into anything, and there’s going to be a lot more discussion and a lot more steps before we get to the nomination,” Connors said