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State Historical Society of Iowa
Historic Architecture graphic

Historic Architecture

At-Home Expedition Activities
   + Innovative Iowans Activity: Historic Iowa Architecture
   + American Gothic House Connect the Dots Activity
   + Video Tours and Resources Showcasing the National Historic Sites
   + Terrace Hill and City Landscapes Coloring Sheets
   + Paul C. Juhl Collection Flickr Album
   + Additional videos, articles and more! 

Knowledge of architectural history in Iowa gives an understanding of the ideas that were important to and shaped past generations who lived on the land. A building can reveal much about the society that produced it, and understanding architectural history allows an insight into the capabilities and limitations of these past societies. Explore the activities, videos and additional resources in this at-home expedition to discover more about historic architecture in Iowa. Also, learn about three featured national historic sites in Iowa – the James B. Weaver House, Terrace Hill and the American Gothic House – that have deep ties to this expedition theme. 

Explore Your Neighborhood

Iowans have built and lived in many different types of houses over the years. From Victorian mansions to ranch homes, Iowa is home to a variety of neighborhoods. This Innovative Iowans activity highlights the design of two important and picturesque Iowa homes and invites you to explore architecture in your own neighborhood.

Connect the Dots

Have you ever used stepping stones to get from one place to the next? Learning about history works the same way: you discover one fact, which leads to another and another. See if you can connect the dots to create an iconic Iowa image.

Virtually Tour National Historic Sites

Learn more about the three National Historic Landmarks showcased in this at-home expedition.
     + Video: American Gothic House Tour
     + Website: American Gothic House
     + Video: "Tour Iowa's Governor's Mansion: Terrace Hill decorated for the holidays"
     + Website: History of Terrace Hill
     + Website: The Weaver House

Create a Masterpiece

From Sioux City to Waterloo to Burlington, the city landscapes of Iowa create unique skylines that can also be breathtaking pieces of art. Download the city landscapes coloring sheets and the Terrace Hill coloring sheets to create your own masterpiece that showcases architectural features from around the state. 

View Scenic Snapshots

View a digital album with a sampling of photographs related to Iowa's landscape in the State Historical Society of Iowa's Paul C. Juhl Collection. Use these visual literacy instructions to help you look beyond an image to search for clues to better understand the historic photographs.

Discover Additional Resources

Check out kid-friendly videos, articles and other resources about historic Iowa architecture and the featured national historic sites in this at-home expedition. 
     + Create your own DIY American Gothic House
     + The Goldfinch: Homes in History
     + Video: "Grant Wood & The American Gothic House"
     + Iowa Heritage Illustrated: "Untamed Greenbacker: James Baird Weaver"
     + "10 Pieces Of Architectural Brilliance In Iowa"
     + "25 Must-See Buildings in Iowa" Photo Gallery
     + James B. Weaver House Photographs