Marshalltown Historic District on Most Endangered List

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MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- After a July 19th tornado, downtown Marshalltown was left in bad shape.

It was so bad that this week it was named by Preservation Iowa as the 2019 Most Endangered Historic Downtown District.

“Over 95 percent of the buildings in the district suffered significant damage to roofs, windows, and store fronts. As a consequence of the wind and rain in the days following, building interiors were damaged as well and inventories of many businesses were lost. It is estimated that up to 13-15 buildings were totally destroyed by the storm,” said Preservation Iowa in a statement.

In Marshalltown, Main Street Business District Director Jenny Etter said the designation is good in that “it may help us get some grants.”

Etter said the City of Marshalltown is working on a comprehensive plan to remake downtown after the tornado.

“Through all the devastation now, we have the opportunity to look at how we can make it better than it was before,” said Etter. “So we have all kinds of building owners interested in restoring their buildings, doing all kinds of reconstruction projects, so it’s a very exciting time to be in downtown Marshalltown.”

Etter said some buildings were torn down and others may lose some top floors after the roof was ripped off. She said the rainfall after the tornado caused maybe even more damage than the twister.

“We’re going to lose 13-15 buildings not only [from the] tornado damage, but [also] the rain we had a week after, said Etter. “Some of those buildings were damaged beyond saving.”

That means some buildings are being torn down and others are altered.

"We have probably three buildings that will come down a floor, at least maybe two. That way we can save the buildings. They’re wonderful buildings,” said Etter. "They’ll take that first floor off and be restored back to look like they originally did, just a little shorter.”

To see the Preservation Iowa Most Endangered List for 2019, visit their Facebook Page here.


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