National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

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 Chautauqua Park Historic District
Reference Number 13001138
State Iowa
County Sac
Town Sac City
Street Address 106 Park Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 2/5/2014
Areas of Significance Architecture, Entertainment/Recreation, Social History
Link to full file
Chautauqua Park Historic District is locally significant under Criterion A and Criterion C. From its founding in 1908 until 1963, the area was a vital entertainment, recreational, social and cultural hub for Sac County and a large area of Northwest Iowa. As a promoter of the Chautauqua movement, the park embodied Teddy Roosevelt's description of the movement as -The most American thing in America.- (Traveling Culture) It is one of the few extant areas founded for the purpose of and dedicated to the widespread Chautauqua movement that shaped several generations of Americans. (The only other extant pavilions in Iowa are found in Red Oak and Riverton.) Friends and neighbors gathered to camp, share stories, hear lectures, and experience music from across the land. The Metcalf Log Cabin is a reminder of pioneer days and early residents' struggles to conquer and settle Iowa in the mid-19th Century. Architecturally, Chautauqua Park is home to an auditorium designed by Proudfoot and Bird, a firm noted for significant contribution to Iowa and regional architecture. The Stone Shelter House is a classic example of WPA projects. The entire park is well maintained, yet remains true to historic roots. A visit to Chautauqua Park Historic District is a visible reminder of an era when beauty and function combined to heighten social awareness and promote cultural events.


Weekly List Search Page

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