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Old Capitol Iowa City.jpg
Old Capitol, center of the Pentacrest
Pentacrest is located in Iowa
Location Bounded by Clinton, Madison, Jefferson, and Washington Sts. Iowa City, IA
Coordinates 41°39′41″N 91°32′09″W / 41.66139°N 91.53583°W / 41.66139; -91.53583Coordinates: 41°39′41″N 91°32′09″W / 41.66139°N 91.53583°W / 41.66139; -91.53583
Built 1898
Architect Proudfoot, Bird & Rawson
Architectural style Beaux Arts
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 78001230 [1]
Added to NRHP March 29, 1978

The Pentacrest is a collection of four buildings on the campus of the University of Iowa surrounding the Old Capitol — Jessup Hall, Macbride Hall, MacLean Hall, and Schaeffer Hall — on a four-block-sized parcel of land in Iowa City, Iowa.

Macbride Hall, which houses the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History.


The Pentacrest is the zero-point of the street grid of Iowa City. The axes are defined by Iowa Avenue and Capitol Street. The exact center is marked by the Iowa Old Capitol Building, which was used as the first state capitol.

The borders of the Pentacrest are Jefferson Street on the north, Washington Street on the south, Madison Street on the west, and Clinton Street on the east.


The Pentacrest was not always the Pentacrest. Other buildings have been located on the site. The present configuration is a relatively recent one that was established during the 20th century. Calvin Hall once belonged to the Pentacrest, and was located where Macbride Hall currently is. The decision was made that all buildings of the Pentacrest should be the same color; therefore, Calvin Hall was moved intact across Jefferson Street and Macbride Hall was built in its place.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 

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