City of Dubuque to Develop Historic Structures Report for Alfred Caldwell Buildings at Eagle Point Park

The City of Dubuque has contracted with a team to develop a Historic Structures Report for the Alfred Caldwell-designed buildings at Eagle Point Park. Financial support for the project comes from the Jeffris Family Foundation. A Historic Structures Report provides primary documentation and planning for decision-making about rehabilitation and restoration of historic buildings.

The team consists of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates of Northbrook, Illinois, in the lead, and its sub-consultants, Chicago-based Julia Bachrach Consulting, with Jeff Morton Associates in a local capacity. The team will also be assisted by City of Dubuque Leisure Services and Planning Services staff, along with local organization Heritage Works in an advisory role.

Eagle Point Park is a National Register Historic District and a Dubuque Landmark Site. The site has a mixture of buildings that contribute to its history and are in different stages of repair. To plan and utilize City funding wisely, a Historic Structures Report is needed to assess and prioritize work to be accomplished on each of the historic structures. This first phase of the project addresses three structures and their immediate environs which were designed by Chicago landscape architect Alfred Caldwell early in his career. Caldwell’s work was funded by the Works Progress Administration as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression.

The Historic Structures Report is being supported by $75,000 of budgeted funding from the City of Dubuque and matched with a $50,000 grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation Heartland Fund, a Wisconsin-based charitable organization dedicated to Midwestern historic properties.

“We hand pick transformative projects in smaller communities of the Midwest,” says foundation president Tom Jeffris. “We are not aware of any other foundation of our size and focus that does this kind of work nationally. At our board meeting last year, one of our trustees brought forward the needs at Eagle Point Park. Since Dubuque is one of my favorite cities and the park is magnificent, we are very excited to help move this project forward.”

The report is expected to be finalized by April 2025. Following completion, Dubuque will have the opportunity to return to the Jeffris Family Foundation Heartland Fund for a challenge grant of up to $1 million for restoration of the Caldwell-designed buildings. The grant is designed to challenge the community to raise two dollars for every dollar granted, maximizing the effectiveness and energy of the grantor’s funds. The effort would have a significant impact toward restoring a beloved Dubuque park which is home to one of the most pristine Caldwell landscapes in the United States.

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates will lead the project to document, analyze, and make recommendations for continued preservation and use. Principal Deborah Slaton was the author for the National Park Service Preservation Brief No. 43: Preparation and Use of Historic Structure Reports and the firm has extensive experience preparing these reports.

“Eagle Point Park is an often-overlooked masterwork of landscape architect Alfred Caldwell that feels inspired by the natural beauty of the Dubuque landscape,” noted project manager Mike Ford. “We are honored to be working with the City and leading a talented team who appreciate the special beauty, artistry, and sense of community that this park conveys.”

Julie Bachrach is consultant in private practice with more than two decades of work in preservation at the Chicago Park District.  She is a nationally-recognized expert on Alfred Caldwell and was the author of the National Historic Landmark listing for the Caldwell-designed Lincoln Park Lily Pool in Chicago, as well as the recent National Register nomination for Caldwell’s Promontory Point in Chicago. Bachrach will be the primary author for the landscape and architectural history aspect of the project, putting the story into context regionally and nationally.

Jeff Morton has built a career serving as architect for some of the most prominent restoration projects in Dubuque and served as sole proprietor of Jeffrey Morton Associates for over 25 years. Morton, with a fondness for Eagle Point Park, will serve as the on-site expertise preparing drawings as part of the process.

Heritage Works will assist the project in an advisory role as a local non-profit preservation organization.

Weekly Ads

If the ad appears a little fuzzy, just click on it to view the ad.

Click here to view ads as a list.