University of Iowa Will Save Historic Barn in Iowa City
By Cindy Hadish, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa – A century-old barn will be moved to make way for a new University of Iowa parking lot.
Goodwin House Moving of Washington, Iowa, is scheduled to move the two-bay carriage barn beginning Tuesday, a process that could take two to three days.
Already, nine houses on Melrose Place and one on Melrose Avenue have been demolished for the surface lot.
The 100-year-old home that sat in front of the barn at 711 Melrose Avenue - demolished last week - was part of the Melrose Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but the UI contends the house was not historic.
“It had been used as a rental house for many years,” UI spokesman Tom Moore said. “It was at the end of its useful life.”
The Melrose Neighborhood Association opposed the demolition, but is grateful the UI agreed to preserve the barn, neighborhood representative Jean Walker said.
Walker noted that the two-story frame barn, built between 1911 and 1912, was included in the site inventory as part of the Albert and Augusta Wiese House property, named for the original owners.
The barn was built for urban uses, rather than agricultural, holding a carriage and two or three horses.
Walker said the barn remains in good condition, with the majority of its original features intact.
The listing notes that the structure is the only surviving barn in the district, which originally had several such outbuildings located along Melrose Avenue.
Moore said the UI has no plans for the barn, which will be moved about 100 feet away.
“The neighborhood association asked us to preserve it and we’ve done that,” he said.
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