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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Farmers Mutual Reinsurance Company Building
Reference Number 13000069
State Iowa
County Poweshiek
Town Grinnell
Street Address 821 5th Avenue, Grinnell, IA
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 03/13/2013
Areas of Significance Commerce, Architecture
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The Farmers Mutual Reinsurance Company Building is individually locally significant for its architectural merit (Criterion C) and for its association with commercial history (Criterion A). It is historically significant under Criterion A under the context of commerce, for its direct association with the successful growth of the Farmers Mutual Reinsurance Company. The initial construction and early enlargement of this building directly interprets the rapid post-World War II growth and diversification of Iowa's premier reinsurance company. The company's early Grinnell years, beginning in 1938, required simple upstairs rented quarters and indeed, when this new building was first occupied, only half of the new building actually housed company offices. The original new building trebled the company's space and within six years the building had to be doubled in size and was then completely occupied by the reinsurance company. This building also represents the post-World War II northward expansion of Grinnell's downtown. All of the major modernistic office building designs were necessarily built in the same one-block area of that expansion, between 5th Avenue and U. S. Highway 6 (6th Avenue) to the north.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria