Iowa Reform Building

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Iowa Reform Building
Iowa reform bldg davenport iowa.jpg
Iowa Reform Building is located in Iowa
Iowa Reform Building
Iowa Reform Building is located in the United States
Iowa Reform Building
Location526 W. 2nd St.
Davenport, Iowa
Coordinates41°31′17″N 90°34′52″W / 41.52139°N 90.58111°W / 41.52139; -90.58111Coordinates: 41°31′17″N 90°34′52″W / 41.52139°N 90.58111°W / 41.52139; -90.58111
Arealess than one acre
MPSDavenport MRA
NRHP reference #83003658[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 18, 1983
Designated DRHPJanuary 16, 2002[2]

Iowa Reform Building is a historic building located in downtown Davenport, Iowa, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and on the Davenport Register of Historic Properties in 2002.


The Iowa Reform was a newspaper that started publication in Davenport in 1884 by Adolph Petersen.[3] Members of the Petersen family were the publishers and editors of the paper from its inception until it ceased publication. They included Adolph and his brother Gerhard, and they were followed by Robert Petersen. Adolph Petersen lived in the apartment above the shop. The paper initially carried a strong Democratic point of view, but eventually went independent. It was a semi-weekly publication that served the German community of the Tri-City area, which is now known as the Quad Cities. The Reform's peak circulation was 4,000 in 1912. Unlike other German publications, it survived the anti-German sentiments that resulted from World War I. By 1939 it was the only German-language paper left in Iowa, and it had a circulation of 3,240.[4] However, it could not survive those same sentiments that resulted from World War II and the paper folded in 1943.[5]

The building itself was built for the Iowa Reform in the heart of the German commercial district on the west side of downtown Davenport. The building has housed various commercial enterprises since the newspaper folded.


The Iowa Reform Building is a two-story structure that is built of brick on a stone foundation. Its English basement is a unique feature.[4] The workrooms and press rooms for the newspaper were located here and the large windows allowed natural light and ventilation to the basement. The storefront features cast-iron columns and two entrances that are accessed by iron steps and handrails. All are believed to be original to the building.[5] The widows of the storefront were altered in a 1998 renovation.[5] The buildings second floor is defined by the placement of stone banding above and below the windows. Above the top banding is the buildings cornice. The bottom part of the cornice is built of brick and it is topped by a molded metal cornice that features an egg and dart pattern.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Historic Preservation Commission. "Davenport Register of Historic Properties" (PDF). City of Davenport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-11. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
  3. ^ Svendsen, Marlys A.; Bowers, Martha H (1982). Davenport Where the Mississippi runs west: A Survey of Davenport History & Architecture. Davenport, Iowa: City of Davenport. p. 8-2.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b Martha Bowers; Marlys Svendsen-Roesler. "Iowa Reform Building". National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-04-16. with photos
  5. ^ a b c "Iowa Reform Building" (PDF). Davenport Public Library. Retrieved 2010-10-30.