Downtown Survey Project Meeting Ahead of Preserve Iowa Summit

The Historic Union Block was the site of a meeting on the downtown survey project yesterday evening. Rebecca McCarley of SPARK consulting, Cedar Rapids, presented the information currently garnered from the project.

The goal is to assess the possibility of a historic district in Mount Pleasant listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Addressing the room, McCarley spoke about the intense amount of research that has had to been done. The first phase of the project, research, saw volunteers investigate historic newspaper ads which proved to be a good sign of where a business was located, and when. Telephone directories were also investigated, but the current address format was established in 1956, meaning that the directories between 1913 and 1952 created more work. Some volunteers even had the privilege of looking at historic images, dating all the way back to 1869.

Mount Pleasant has changed a lot of the years. For example, where the post office sits now once was a YMCA, until it was destroyed by a fire. Officers for the Mount Pleasant Police Department show up to work where a historic grocery store sat before. While Mount Pleasant has changed, parts of it remain the same. Out of the 137 properties surveyed in this project, 1/3rd date back to the Civil War era in the 1850s and 60s.

There are four criteria in which a district can be placed on the NRHP. This project focuses on criteria A and C, which is a pattern of important commercial activity, and architecture.

Many volunteers put countless hours into this project, and it is looking like the report will be finalized in June this year. By this fall, a potential grant application may be sent in.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Mount Pleasant, ensure that you attend the Preserve Iowa Summit in Mount Pleasant, June 6th-8th. Head to