Marycrest College Historic District

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Marycrest College Historic District
Marycrest International University.jpg
Marycrest College Historic District is located in Iowa
Marycrest College Historic District
Location Portions of the 1500 and 1600 blocks of W. 12th St., Davenport, Iowa
Coordinates 41°31′56″N 90°34′33″W / 41.53222°N 90.57583°W / 41.53222; -90.57583Coordinates: 41°31′56″N 90°34′33″W / 41.53222°N 90.57583°W / 41.53222; -90.57583
Built 1938, 1939, 1941
Architect Temple and Temple
Architectural style Queen Anne
Governing body Private
MPS Davenport MRA
NRHP Reference # 04000341[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 14, 2004
Designated DRHP January 1, 2004[2]

Marycrest College Historic District is located on a bluff overlooking the West End of Davenport, Iowa, United States. The district encompasses the campus of Marycrest International University, which was a small, private collegiate institution. The school was originally named Marycrest College, became Teikyo Marycrest University and finally Marycrest International University after affiliating with a private educational consortium during the 1990s. The school closed in 2002 because of financial shortcomings. The campus has been listed on the Davenport Register of Historic Properties and on the National Register of Historic Places since 2004.


Max Petersen House where the college began
Sr. Mary Helene ven Horst, CHM and students c. 1960

Marycrest was founded as a Catholic women's college in 1939 by the Congregation of the Humility of Mary (CHM) at the request of the Bishop of Davenport. The campus was located on West 12th Street, on a scenic bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. As early as the mid-1940s, international students were welcomed to the campus. In 1969, educational opportunities were extended to men when the college became coeducational. In 1990, Marycrest College became affiliated with the Teikyo Yamanashi Education and Welfare Foundation of Japan and was renamed Teikyo Marycrest University.[3] It was networked with Teikyo campuses around the world and its mission was dedicated to international education without prejudice. The institution ended its formal association with the Catholic Church at this time, though many nuns continued to teach and work at the university.

During the early 1990s, Japanese students formed a substantial part of the enrollment of the university. When Japan's economy declined in the mid-1990s,[4] enrollment at Marycrest also declined. In 1996, the institution's name was changed to Marycrest International University. This was an attempt to more fully reflect the global mission of the institution. It was also part of an effort to re-market the university in order to boost enrollment, which by this time had declined to approximately 500 students.

The campus was closed at the end of its 2001-2002 school year, as a result of continued enrollment declines and persistent financial difficulties.[3] Many of the remaining students transferred to nearby schools, including Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. All of the academic records are now housed at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

Marycrest International University was respected for its solid programs in education, social work, and nursing. In its later years, the university also developed an interdisciplinarly program in computer graphics and web design. The campus newspaper was The Crest. Marycrest athletic teams were called the Eagles and included men and women's soccer, basketball, volleyball, and women's softball, competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Annual traditions included Pig Roast, midnight breakfast, and A Taste of Culture.

Although the university is closed, the campus continues to serve an important role in the local community. In 2006, a residential community for senior citizens known as Marycrest Senior Campus was established in the residence halls. The Marycrest Campus became unified under common ownership and management in 2010. The complex hopes to be Davenport's first affordable age-in-place community for active seniors age 55 and older.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Historic Preservation Commission. "Davenport Register of Historic Properties". City of Davenport. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  3. ^ a b "Marycrest International University to Close", Dynamic Chiropractic 20 (03), January 28, 2002 
  4. ^ [1] Japan's Economy, by Randall Jones, OECD Observer, March 2005

External links[edit]