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Motor Mill Inn Award

Preservation Iowa Presents Awards for Excellence in Preservation 

June 6, 2024 – Preservation Iowa announces their annual Preservation at its Best  Awards to honor individuals, organizations, projects, and programs whose work  demonstrates a commitment to excellence in historic preservation. The awards were  presented as part of the 2024 Preserve Iowa Summit held in Mt. Pleasant, IA on June 6- 8, 2024 

“Preservation Iowa, a state-wide non-profit advocate for preservation projects in Iowa,  honors projects and people who truly demonstrate preservation’s power to change the  future of Iowa. These awards honor thousands of volunteer hours and over $66 million of investment in Iowa’s economy. Without the combination of private funding, historic  

tax credits, grant awards, and public dollars, projects like these would not happen,”  stated Jim Davies, Preservation Iowa Awards Coordinator.  

Eight (8) awards were presented in eight (8) categories and ranged throughout Iowa:  Clinton, Des Moines, Elkader, Lost Nation, McGregor, Mt. Pleasant, Muscatine, and  Sioux City. 

Adaptive Reuse/Mixed-Use Award 

Project: Wilson Lofts, Clinton 

Owner: Economic Growth Corporation, Rock Island, IL 

The Wilson Building, built in 1914, housed professional offices and retail stores in  downtown Clinton. It has now been transformed into a dynamic, mixed-use  development featuring 33 apartments alongside two business incubators integrating  history and innovation. 

Commercial Award 

Project: Badgerow Flats, Sioux City 

Owner: Neeraj Agarwal, BadgerowOwner, LLC, Omaha, NE

This 12-story Sioux City office building, constructed in the early 1930’s, now has 70  upper story apartments and commercial space on the 1st floor. 

Martha Hayes Preservationist of the Year Award 

Recipient: Pat R. White, Mt. Pleasant 

A dedicated volunteer and board member of several Henry County historical  organizations, Pat inherited and maintains massive historical files becoming the  unofficial “Mt. Pleasant historian.” Her leadership efforts include an archival area for  Iowa Wesleyan memorabilia, the Mt. Pleasant Historic Preservation Commission, and  the Pioneer Cemetery Commission. 

Maurice Losely Sacred Place Award 

Project: Smithtown Church, Lost Nation 

Owner: Clinton County Historical Preservation Commission/Clinton County All original surfaces, fixtures, and furniture were restored in this only surviving landmark,  built in 1874, of the Sharon Township village of Burgess in Clinton County. 

Public/Non-Profit Structure Award 

Project: Rehabilitation of Historic Japanese Garden, Muscatine Owner: Muscatine Art Center/City of Muscatine 

The only surviving Japanese-style garden predating World War II, installed in 1930, was  gifted to the City of Muscatine in 1964. It has been restored to its original historic  character after collaborating with Iowa State University and author/garden researcher  Beth Cody. 

Residential Award 

Project: The Treehouse Apartments, Des Moines 

Owner: Tree House Partners, Des Moines 

Constructed in 1923, three apartment buildings, across from Terrace Hill in Des Moines,  were updated with modern amenities now housing 90-efficiency one- and two-bedroom  units. 

Rural Preservation Award 

Project: Motor Inn Revival: Accommodating Agrarian Travelers Past and Present,  Elkader

Owner: Clayton County Conservation Board 

Hidden in the Turkey River valley of Clayton County, the Motor Mill Inn, built circa 1870,  was restored and modernized creating space to welcome visitors with meeting rooms,  retail space, and overnight accommodations incorporating resilience into the building so  future floods could be handled with minimal damage. 

Sustainability in Preservation Award 

Project: McGregor Masonic Block, McGregor 

Owner: Matt & Mindy Aust, Des Moines 

Constructed in 1866, rehabilitation of this main street McGregor resource created 11  residential apartments and 3 retail spaces incorporating sustainable strategies restoring  historic elements with all new plumbing and high-efficiency electric fixtures. ### 

Preservation Iowa was created in 1991 to support, broaden and strengthen the statewide constituency  for preservation in Iowa; to educate public and private policymakers who affect historic preservation  issues at the national, state and local levels; to develop and implement strategies for ensuring the  preservation of individual and collective sites and structure of cultural significance to Iowa; and to  partner with national, state and local agencies and organizations whose activities impact historic  resources. For more information, visit  

Descriptions of Preservation at its Best Award Categories

Adaptive Reuse/Mixed-Use Award recognizes: Conversion of a historic structure for a new or  compatible use or mixed use while retaining its architectural integrity.  

Commercial Award honors: Rehabilitation or restoration of a historic commercial structure.  Community Effort Award honors: A community’s concerted effort to save a historic structure,  district, or cultural resource.  

Martha Hayes Preservationist of the Year Award honors: An individual or group that has  championed historic preservation planning, policy, or activities in Iowa.  

Maurice Losely Sacred Place Award honors: Rehabilitation, restoration, or reuse of a sacred or  holy site, ground, space, place, structure, etc.  

Paula Mohr Certified Local Government (CLG) of the Year Award honors: Invaluable contributions  by an individual or organization to Iowa’s CLG Program and to historic preservation locally,  statewide, regionally, and nationally.  

Public / Non-Profit Structure Award recognizes: Rehabilitation or restoration of a publicly,  government, or non-profit owned structure.  

Residential Award honors: Rehabilitation or restoration and continued use of a residential  structure.  

Rural Preservation Award recognizes: Preservation or restoration in a rural cultural landscape,  heritage, or built environment.  

Special Projects Award recognizes: Films, books, websites, podcasts, plays, etc. that tell Iowa’s  stories and promote the preservation of Iowa’s historic resources.  

Sustainability in Preservation Award recognizes: Incorporation of sustainable practices into the  rehabilitation or restoration of a historic structure. 



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