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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 Greenfield Public Square Historic District
Reference Number 14000623
State Iowa
County Adair
Town Greenfield
Street Address 102-362 Public Square. 201-215 South First Street. 107-110 East Iowa
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 9/10/2014
Areas of Significance COMMERCE, ARCHITECTURE
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The Greenfield Public Square Historic District has local Criterion A significance as forty-three of the fifty-two resources within the district speak directly to commercial development between the years 1856 and 1969. These buildings housed the vital goods, services and amenities needed in a growing community. The commercial buildings encircle the centerpiece of the Public Square, the Adair County Courthouse. This small community served as the market town for the surrounding agricultural area. Local Criterion C significance is based first, on the plan of the Square itself. It is a rare Lancaster square, with streets entering in the middle of each side, and it is smaller than the typical square, being only three-quarters the size of those commonly found in Iowa towns. Secondly, the Public Square contains a good collection of commercial buildings representative of the types, styles and building materials in common use between 1856 and 1969, and illustrates the mix of single and double story commercial buildings found in many small rural Iowa towns. The period of significance begins with the platting of the town of Greenfield with the Lancaster square in 1856 and ends with the selection of Greenfield as the shooting location for the movie "Cold Turkey" because of its picturesque square in 1969."

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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