Among the prominent Iowa architects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were a remarkable few who had little training in architecture; their natural talents and their capacity for hard work made up for their lack of experience. Beginning in 1927, however, an Iowa architect had to meet state requirements of experience and training in order to practice. Shank includes an introduction to the history of the profession in Iowa: the development of professional education and training, the founding of professional societies and their roles, the different personalities and talents of the architects, the demography of architectural offices in the state, and the relative importance of Iowa architects both statewide and nationally.
For each architect Shank has gathered as much personal and professional information as possible: dates and places of birth and death; parents, spouses, and children; education and professional training; personality and competency; when and where they practiced, with whom, and when their partnerships began and ended; what roles they played in their communities and their profession; and the representative buildings they designed.
As a reflection of both national and state history, Iowa's Historic Architects will be valuable to professionals in the fields of architecture, American history, and historic preservation as well as to general readers.