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State Historical Society of Iowa

Sioux City School Added to National Register of Historic Places

Jan 4, 2019

DES MOINES – As Iowans look toward the new year, a new addition to the National Register of Historic Places offers a glimpse into Iowa’s past.

In Sioux City, Everett School was recently added to the National Register as an example of how new educational philosophies guided the design and construction of public schools in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"We're pleased Everett School has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, and we commend all the stakeholders who worked so hard on this successful nomination," State Historian Laura Sadowsky said. "This recognition marks an important milestone for Sioux City as it continues to preserve the legacy of its past for future generations of Iowans to enjoy."

Built in 1888, the two-story brick building was originally known as the Davis Addition School. It was designed to accommodate some of Sioux City’s growing student population, which mushroomed from about 1,700 to 6,000 pupils between 1884 and 1894. Its multiple-classroom design was driven by new educational philosophies that encouraged schools to group students into different grade levels based on their age – a relatively new idea in the age of one-room schoolhouses.

The building underwent numerous upgrades as education evolved over the next 50 years, including additions in 1891 and 1917, interior and exterior modernizations in 1931, and the construction of a cafeteria-auditorium (“cafetorium”) in 1940.

“Rather than being simply about changes made to one school building, the way Everett School was modified and expanded over the years reflects a clear pattern of development undertaken by the Sioux City School District to ensure their school buildings remained modern and in line with national thinking,” according to the school’s National Register nomination form. “Everett School was built, expanded and modified to accommodate increased enrollment, continually shifting educational needs, and to comply with statewide requirements for educational facilities.”

Everett School was the oldest continually operating school in Sioux City until it closed in 2016. It was used as an elementary school by the Sioux City School District from 1888 to 2011 and reopened the next year as an alternative school, housing the district’s alternative suspension program.

Today the building’s owner plans to rehabilitate it into apartments. Federal and state historic tax credits will be used as part of the rehabilitation, ensuring adherence to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, according to its National Register nomination.

The State Historic Preservation Office oversees the National Register of Historic Places program in Iowa in conjunction with the National Park Service. The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.