The Hoover Houses and Community Structures
Historic Structures Report
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A. Name and Number of Structure

The Hoover Cottage, Structure No. 1, West Branch, Iowa. The Hoover Cottage is classified as a structure of 1st Order of Significance.

B. Proposed Use of Structure

The restored and refurnished Hoover Cottage is a historic house museum used to interpret the birth and childhood of our 31st President and the way of life of his parents in the years 1870-79.

C. Justification for Such Use as Shown in the Master Plan

The Hoover Cottage and Grounds are to be restored to their appearance, circa 1875.

D. Provision for Operating the Structure

The Hoover Cottage will be used as a historic house museum and exhibit in place.

E. Cooperative Agreement, if any Executed or Proposed for Operating the Structure

Cooperative agreements will not be needed to operate and interpret this structure.

F. Brief Description of Proposed Construction Activity

Before commencing this study, I met with William Wagner, the distinguished historical architect, who has been intimately associated with the area and the Herbert Hoover Birthplace Foundation since 1956. Mr. Wagner was responsible for overseeing a number of maintenance projects at the Cottage in 1961-62, besides preparing the measured drawings of that structure. Mr. Wagner suggested that the Cottage, as built, may have had siding rather than boards and battens. He also questioned Bruce McKay's 1938 decision to use shakes rather than shingles in the restoration and the type of interior finish.

Keeping these points raised by Bill Wagner in mind, I began the subject report as will be shown in this study, McKay's decision to use boards and battens has been vindicated, but his use of shakes was a mistake. Consequently, construction activity proposed for the Cottage will be minimal, and will consist of (a) replacing shakes with shingles; and (b) killing the gloss of the modern paints and treating the exterior to simulate the historic whitewash.

G. Estimate of Cost of Proposed Construction


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Last Updated: 28-Jul-2006