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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 Downtown Commercial Historic District
Reference Number 14001168
State Iowa
County Des Moines
Town Burlington
Street Address 100-800 blocks of Jefferson Street and blocks from Columbia Street to Market Street east of 4th Street to Mississippi River
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 1/21/2015
Areas of Significance Commerce, Architecture
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The Downtown Commercial Historic District is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for commerce and under Criterion C for architecture at a local level of significance. The historical and architectural significance of the district is tied directly to the commercial history and development of Burlington, and it represents the most significant and largest collection of commercial architecture in Burlington. The significance is directly tied to three periods of commercial development in Burlington: Community Prosperity and Growth from 1865 to 1894; Commercial Stability and Community Pride from 1895 to 1929; and Focused Community and Building Improvements from 1930 to 1967. Key aspects of Burlington's historic commercial development and key architectural designs are represented through the buildings and blocks within the district. The period of significance covers a century of commercial development in Burlington, from 1865 to 1967. The period of significance begins in 1865 with the construction of the first buildings following the end of the Civil War, starting a period of significant building construction that was sustained and bolstered after the completion of the railroad bridge over the Mississippi River in 1869. It continues through the economic prosperity of Burlington through the end of the 19th century, resulting in buildings on nearly all the lots within the district. Earlier buildings were replaced with modern buildings while other buildings were remodeled to reflect modern functions and design through the first half of the 20th century. This drive to modernize downtown continued into the 1960s, with the last significant modern remodels of this decade completed in 1967. Thus, the period of significance for the development of the district spans from 1865 to 1967, near the typical 50-year cutoff for significance per National Register of Historic Places standards.

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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