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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Old Brick Records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1971-1982
Creator: Old Brick
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0406
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Iowa City building. Legal documents, correspondence, financial records, etc. used in the battle to save Old Brick from destruction.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The records were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1982 by Robert R. Dykstra.

Preferred Citation: Records of Old Brick, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

The building known as Old Brick is located at 26 E. Market Street in Iowa City, Iowa. Originally the home of the First Presbyterian Church, its construction was completed in 1850, making it one of the oldest surviving buildings in Iowa City. The Romanesque revival architecture was heavily damaged by fire in 1856, and the present structure is the result of the post-fire rebuilding. In 1877 the one hundred fifty three foot spire collapsed and was replaced by the present battlement. When the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church decided to build a new church building, the fate of Old Brick came into question. Whether the building would be razed or saved became a controversial issue, not just within the church but throughout the entire community. In 1973, as part of an on-going effort to save the building, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The records of Old Brick date from 1971 to 1982 (with clippings from the 19th century) and consist of 1.5 linear feet of documents. The records deal primarily with the efforts to 'save" Old Brick. Many related groups were formed for this purpose including the Old Brick Associates, Ltd., the Old Brick Legal Defense League, and Friends of Old Brick. Historical background material, correspondence, photographs, restoration plans, real estate and zoning material, petitions, and newspaper clippings all relate to efforts to preserve this building. These labors were eventually successful. Old Brick still stands on the corner of Market and Clinton Street near downtown Iowa City.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL
Series 2: 1988 ADDENDUM
Series 3: 2009 ADDENDUM

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Blue prints
  • Clippings - 1868-1890, 1974-1978
    Some Xerox copies
  • Consultant Service Grant: National Trust for Historic Preservation - 1976
  • Correspondence - 1976
  • Correspondence - 1977-1978
  • Correspondence, undated
  • Division of Historic Preservation, State Historical Department of Iowa - 1977-1981
  • Friends of Old Brick: Minutes - 1978-1979
  • Legal and court related documents - 1976-1979
    Includes briefs, court orders, lease agreements, bills of sale, etc.
  • Miscellaneous - 1976-1980
  • Nolan, John: Material used during court hearing - 1974
    Includes notes taken during the proceedings
  • "Notes Toward a History of Old Brick and Its Preservation," by Robert R. Dykstra, August 26 - 1977
    Includes the final draft and research notes
  • Old Brick Associates, Ltd.: Articles and certificate of limited partnership - 1976-1977
  • Old Brick Associates, Ltd.: Finances - 1976-1980
  • Old Brick Associates, Ltd.: Tax material - 1977
  • Old Brick Defense League: Articles of incorporation and bylaws - 1976-1977
  • Box 2:
  • Old Brick Defense League: Finances - 1976-1977
  • Old Brick Defense League: Tax material - 1976
  • "Old Brick Preserved": Brochure and rough draft written by Robert R. Dykstra
  • Photographs - 1976-1977
  • Real estate and zoning material - 1977-1978
  • Research papers - 1977
    Written for the HIstoric Restoration Management class taught by Dr. Margaret Keyes
  • Restoration plans - 1977-1980
  • Series 2: 1988 ADDENDUM
  • Box 3:
  • Blue print
  • Correspondence - 1971-1982
  • Friends of Old Brick: Articles of incorporation and bylaws - 1975, 1977
  • Friends of Old Brick: Minutes - 1978
  • Friends of Old Brick: Old Brick Limited Partnership - 1978-1981
  • Historical background material - 1978
  • M. Willard Lampe Foundation - 1975
  • Newspaper clippings - 1974-1976
  • Old Brick Associates: Annual meeting - 1977-1981
  • Old Brick Associates: Tax returns - 1979, 1982
  • Petitions - 1975
  • Photograph
  • Series 3: 2009 ADDENDUM
  • Box 3:
  • Clippings. Gift of the James Van Allen family

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
First Presbyterian Church (Iowa City, Iowa)

Historic buildings

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Iowa City

Genre/Form of Materials:
Clippings (Information artifacts)

Clergy and the Church