In the Making: The Loras Application for Historical Registration

DUBUQUE, IA – As one of the oldest cities in the state of Iowa, Dubuque has its fair share of historic buildings. Recently, a familiar institution has started the process of applying for historical recognition as well.

Loras College has started the project of applying to become a Historical District on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire Loras community is getting involved, with faculty, staff, and students working on the project.

The process to receive historical recognition is a long one. First, the school has to discover one of the ways in which they can receive recognition, whether it has unique architectural style or was highly involved with a famous person. This requires a great deal of research to find documents which back up the point chosen. Secondly, following the research the school has to send an application to the State Historical society. From there, the document will be passed from the State Historical Society to the local Dubuque Historical society. It is only after those steps have been completed that the application is sent to the National Register. Eventually, the application is examined, and either confirmed or denied by the national organization. The end result, if it succeeds, is the designation of Loras as a Historic District. While the college is a private institution, it will still receive certain financial benefits from the federal government for future campus improvement projects.

The project workers have so far spent hours researching for the application, and to understand the historical importance of the campus. Their discoveries have revealed a large amount of historical knowledge which could be used by future generations. LCTV interviewed Hannah Bernhard, a student volunteer on the project. She said, “We have a great history here, and we want to make people aware of that; it brings tourism not just to Dubuque, but also can help people realize the importance of our campus.”

To help with the project, Loras enlisted the aid of Heritage Works, a local historical consulting agency which specializes in restoration projects involving older buildings. The organization hosted a short presentation meeting on November 7, 2017, where CEO Duane Hagerty gave a speech on the application process and what the two groups were doing to insure the success of the application. Hannah Bernhard also gave a brief presentation about research so far.

Due to the amount of time needed for the application process, it will not be processes until sometime in 2019.

Anyone seeking to learn more about the project are encouraged to contact either Heritage Works of Dr. Kristin Anderson-Bricker, the faculty advisor of the project, at 563-588-7403 or

To see the LCTV News story, please see the LCTV YouTube page.

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