Preserve Iowa Summit opens in heart of historic Sioux City

SIOUX CITY — Iowans who are passionate about preserving their communities’ history and historic buildings are meeting today in Sioux City for the start of the three-day Preserve Iowa Summit.

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs spokesman Jeff Morgan says the meeting is held in different Iowa cities each year and it features expert presentations, workshops and tours, teaching participants new ways to preserve Iowa’s past — for the future.

“It is the premier convening of people who are involved in historic preservation projects, issues and policies throughout the state,” Morgan says. “You’ll find architects and developers and historic preservation professionals, all gathering to discuss everything historic preservation.”

Sioux City is an ideal location for the meeting, which is being held in the newly-renovated Warrior Hotel, which first opened in 1930. Tour destinations include the Sioux City Railroad Museum, the Fourth Street Historic District, and the Woodbury County Courthouse, a national landmark.

From old train depots to historic homes to rare artifacts, Morgan says there’s a dedicated group of Iowans who are focused on preservation.

“It’s all about creative placemaking where communities can leverage their historical and cultural assets,” Morgan says, “to create vibrant communities and create vitality for residents, guests, and visitors to come in enjoy the communities and all that they have to offer throughout the state.”

One of the main speakers is an architectural historian and author who will talk about the relationship between architecture and cultural meaning.

“We’ll welcome Thomas Hubka, who will be our keynote speaker,” Morgan says, “and we’ll also have a director’s armchair discussion where we’ll talk about historic preservation issues and policies across the state.”

The summit runs through Saturday and concludes with a round of how-to sessions designed for Iowans who work or volunteer at local historical societies and history museums.