The annual Historic Preservation Awards are given by the DCHS’s Historic Preservation Committee in partnership with the Dubuque Preservation Commission. Comprised of local volunteers interested in architecture, local history, and preservation, the committee seeks to award members of the community whose efforts showcase a desire to uphold Dubuque’s architectural history.

The Historic Preservation Awards were started in 1975. The Awards program is distinguished from other preservation rewards in the community by recognizing citizens of Dubuque County who have demonstrated a commitment to historic preservation through historically-sensitive restoration and preservation of their residential, commercial or civic properties. Past honorees have been located in Cascade, Dubuque, Dyersville, Farley, Sherrill, and other local communities. Since 1975 over 300 homes have been recognized for upholding the history of Dubuque’s architectural legacy.

This is an honorary award promoting exceptional commitment and achievement; no monetary awards are associated with this program. The winning properties will be honored at an awards ceremony as part of Dubuque Main Street’s annual Architecture Days celebration.

Historic properties in Dubuque County are eligible for the awards. To be considered, properties should be at least 50 years old and will be reviewed using one or more of the following criteria: (1) Exterior construction materials including fenestration (windows), etc.; (2) Architectural details appropriate to the original design of the building; (3) Building improvements made with regard to sensitive restoration or original design; (4) Alterations or additions in keeping with the original structure and setting, or blending harmoniously with the original structure and setting; (5) Compatibility of the color scheme; (6) Adaptive reuse of a building that preserves the original architectural character; (7) Appropriateness of the surrounding grounds to the original design of the building.

The committee will evaluate each nomination on its individual merit. In the case of rehabilitation of existing structures, awards will be giving for outstanding examples in which the integrity of the historic structures is retained or restored and in which alterations or additions are appropriate and the history context is respected. The jury reserves the right to make multiple awards, or no award, in and to nominate projects it deems worthy of awards.

Property owners can nominate their own buildings, or nominations can be submitted on behalf of neighbors, friends, and others who have researched and thoughtfully restored an historic property.

The deadline for nominations is February 29, 2024. Nominations should include the names of the owners, address, basic information about the restoration and historical significance of the property, and photos. Nominations can be submitted in paper format or electronically to: Historic Preservation Awards, Dubuque County Historical Society, 350 East 3rd Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001 or

Incomplete or late nominations will not be considered.  Nominations that are not chosen may be resubmitted in the following year.

To view past winners and for more information about the award, visit

About the Dubuque County Historical Society

The Society was formed in 1950 as a private, non-profit organization with a focus on oral and archival history. Since that time, its collections have grown to include more than 41,000 historical items, many of which are on display at DCHS properties—the Mathias Ham Historic Site and the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. The Society’s mission is to inspire stewardship by creating educational experiences where history and rivers come alive. It fulfills that mission through dynamic interpretation and exhibition of historical artifacts and archives as well as through the conservation and preservation of these historic treasures.