On the corner of Burlington and Summit in Iowa City sits a piece of local history, the Kauffman-Walker House. This beautiful Anglo-Italian styled home was built in 1883 by Levi Kauffman, a prominent nursery owner and local developer. If you are lucky to drive by this house on a regular basis, you may have had a front row seat to its recent restoration. It has been quite the transformation!
Since its construction 134 years ago, this house has functioned as a single-family home, a fraternity house, and, most recently, rental apartments. In recent decades, the house fell into disrepair. Fortunately, in 2016 it was purchased by Urban Acres realtor, Kevin Hanick, and his wife Patricia, and has since benefited from their passion for rehabilitating and restoring historic properties in the area.
In early 2017, Kevin and Pat won a Preservation Award for Residential Rehabilitation from the Iowa City Historic Preservation Commission. Their restoration work was also recognized at the 2017 Preserve Iowa Summit, where they proudly accepted the “Preservation at its Best” award.
The restoration of a historic property preserves its intrinsic and irreplaceable value in our community. Many historic homes are made with rare, high-quality materials, including wood from old-growth forests which may no longer exist. The effort to restore and revive historic homes conserves natural resources, strengthens neighborhoods, and encourages local economic growth. A community’s inventory of historic homes matters. They are part of our city’s history, and our own.
Want to peek inside? Here are some before and after images to show the hard work and craftsmanship that went into this restoration project.
Have you been wondering how to use your home equity for home improvement projects or