Tonight’s presentation about Alfred Caldwell and his architectural and landscape designs at Eagle Point Park, served as more than a public education opportunity. The event launched Dubuque’s newest non-profit organization focused on historic preservation and redevelopment of the area’s historic buildings: Heritage Works, Inc.

Heritage Works aims to be a comprehensive resource for those engaged in preservation and redevelopment projects in the Dubuque area. It’s efforts will be focused toward three primary objectives: facilitating collaboration for catalytic preservation and restoration projects, including help in gathering financial assistance for such projects, community and governmental advocacy emphasizing the importance of historic preservation, and educational programming highlighting Dubuque’s rich historic and architectural heritage.

The organization already has a collaborative opportunity planned that will provide hands-on vocational training in the historic preservation and traditional building trades. Heritage Works is partnering with Four Mounds and Friends of St. Mary’s to bring a group of skilled craftspeople and apprentices from Chicago who will restore two of the former St. Mary’s church stained glass windows.  The restoration project will take place from June 8 through June 19 at St. Mary’s. Four Mounds has identified 6 local high school students who will also participate in the window restoration project by observing and actually participating in the window restoration. Heritage Works hopes that this will be a pilot project for developing a unique educational and vocational training program focused on traditional building trades.

Heritage Works received its startup and early operational funding through a generous donation from John and Alice Butler of Dubuque. The Butlers have a strong track record of completing historic preservation projects in Dubuque, including the restoration of the Town Clock Building at 823 Main Street in 2003 and the complete restoration in 2009 of the Security Building at 800 Main Street, the corporate headquarters of Cottingham and Butler. Most recently, the Butlers donated $780,000 to the Dubuque Community School District to fund the replacement and renovation of historically appropriate windows at doors at the Bryant Elementary School.  “Dubuque has a unique sense of place because of its wealth of historically and architecturally significant buildings and neighborhoods,” said John Butler, Chairman of Cottingham and Butler.   “Many of those important buildings and neighborhoods are in great need of revitalization.  Gathering funding for those types of transformative historic preservation projects is one of the most challenging aspects of restoration efforts.  Heritage Works will be avital resource to help projects acquire adequate funding.”

Through its efforts, Heritage Works hopes to further promote the concept of historic preservation as an opportunity to revitalize the community and drive economic development. Citing the popularity of tourist attractions like Eagle Point Park, and the success of redevelopment projects like the Historic Millwork District, Heritage Works CEO, Duane Hagerty said, “Dubuque has proven that a community doesn’t have to make a false choice either to have economic development or historic preservation.  Rather, historic preservation is an engine of economic development.” Hagerty, a Bankston, Iowa native, is relocating back to the Dubuque area to lead the organization. Previously a Chicago-based attorney and historic preservation consultant, he has collaborated on several Dubuque historic preservation projects, including the redevelopment of Steeple Square, the former St. Mary’s parish complex.  “I have always been fascinated by Dubuque’s rich history and architecture.  As a community, Dubuque has had such great success harnessing its heritage as a driver of economic development.  Heritage Works can help to continue that success. I am excited to lead Heritage Works as it endeavors to contribute to Dubuque’s legacy.

About Heritage Works:
Heritage Works leverages Dubuque’s architectural heritage to drive community revitalization and economic development. Through collaboration, financing, advocacy, and education, Heritage Works preserves our community’s history to invigorate its future.