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

The Friends Meeting House, Structure No. 3, West Branch, Iowa. The Friends Meeting House is classified as a structure of Second Order of Significance.

B. Proposed Use of Structure

The Friends Meeting House has been relocated on the east side of Downey Street, opposite the Presidential Library, and restored to its appearance circa 1880. The Meeting House, which was intimately associated with the Hoover family, constitutes a valuable in-place exhibit and plays a vital role in interpreting the Hoover West Branch years.

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

The Perkins & Will Master Plan proposes to restore the core area of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site to the appearance of a typical eastern Iowa village of the 1880s. Jesse and Huldah Hoover, along with many of their neighbors, were Friends. Huldah Hoover was a minister, and the Quaker religion, symbolized by the Meeting House, had a significant role in molding Herbert Hoover's character.

D. Provision for Operating the Structure

The Meeting House was relocated and restored by the Herbert Hoover Birthplace Foundation, which holds title to the property. The National Park Service interprets the structure, and since July 1, 1971, has maintained the grounds and building.

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

The Foundation holds title to the Friends Meeting House, while the Service maintains and interprets the structure.

F. Brief Description of Proposed Construction Activity

The picket and board fences will be reconstructed. When the structure is programmed to be repainted, the interior (including the partitions) will be painted a "dove grey"; the paint will be removed from the benches and pews, as they were unpainted in the historic period; and the exterior will be repainted white with a lead based paint rather than titanium based paints. If period hanging lamps can be secured, they should be used to light the structure.

If a contemporary photograph or sketch can be located to provide necessary construction details, a shed porch will be added to what is now the west elevation of the Meeting House. If no such documentary evidence is found, the shed porch could be reconstructed by restoration architects, relying on photographs of shed porches found on contemporary Iowa meeting houses.

G. Estimate of Cost of Proposed Construction


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Last Updated: 28-Jul-2006