Building owners invited to free session on architectural ornamentation and house styles
Aug 2023

Building owners invited to free session on architectural ornamentation and house styles

Experts will discuss the maintenance of corbels and other architectural ornamentation, along with home styles, during a free session on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — As Save CR Heritage embarks on preserving corbels and other ornamentation on its early-1900s home, the nonprofit plans to share its expertise with building owners.

An informational session is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, at the J.E. Halvorson House, 606 Fifth Ave. SE, next to Kathy’s Pies in Cedar Rapids. The event is free and open to the public.

Home and business owners will learn the terminology of exterior building ornamentation, the reasons to keep those elements and how to maintain and preserve them. Architectural styles of homes also will be discussed, so homeowners can learn the difference between Tudor, Craftsman, Italianate, Queen Anne and other styles, to help identify what type of house they own.

The session will be particularly useful for anyone living in historic districts in Cedar Rapids, as well as owners of older homes in Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Marion, Ely, Palo and other towns and rural areas.

Cornices and dentil molding add distinctive character to older buildings. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Save CR Heritage board members have seen instances of building owners who have removed wood ornamentation for cost savings, rather than painting and repairing those elements, but doing so takes away the distinctive character of the building, and the surrounding neighborhood. The goal of the free session is to prevent further degradation of older buildings in Cedar Rapids and beyond.

The 1905 J.E. Halvorson House, which the group has been maintaining since acquiring it in late 2020, is one of just three remaining homes out of 60 that populated its neighborhood in downtown Cedar Rapids in the early 1900s, so saving these important features takes on added significance.

Jeremy Smith of Timeless Creations of Marion, Iowa, examines a corbel on the J.E. Halvorson House in Cedar Rapids in August 2023. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Sun exposure and harsh weather have taken a toll on corbels — a type of ornate bracket — and scrollwork on the house, but thanks to a preservation grant from the Linn County Board of Supervisors and Linn County Historic Preservation Commission, along with donated primer and paint from Klinger Paint Co., Save CR Heritage was able to hire Timeless Creations of Marion to fabricate and replace missing elements, remove peeling paint and paint the woodwork; a project that will ensue this fall.

Presenters at the Aug. 31 session will be Bethany Jordan, a board member and past president of Save CR Heritage, who is an architect with Martin Gardner Architecture, certified in historic preservation, and Terry Philips, of T.K. Enterprises, based in Washington, Iowa, an award-winning preservationist and expert in the rehabilitation of older buildings.

More: Learn about the efforts of Save CR Heritage to save the most architecturally significant elementary school in Cedar Rapids.

Jeremy Smith of Timeless Creations points to a feature on the J.E. Halvorson House, while looking at the house with his two sons and Save CR Heritage board members in August 2023. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
The Brazelton House, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is an example of Italianate architecture. In addition to learning terminology of building ornamentation, attendees at the Save CR Heritage informational session can learn about architectural styles of homes. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Jeremy Smith and sons, Zach and Laramie, of Timeless Creations, look at the J.E. Halvorson House in August 2023. (photo/Cindy Hadish)


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