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

West Branch Schoolhouse, Structure No. 17, West Branch Iowa. This structure is of the 2d Order of Significance.

B. Proposed Use of Structure

The exterior and interior will be restored to their appearance, circa 1870, and the building furnished as a period one-room primary school. The restoration and refurnishing of the Schoolhouse, although it will not be on its historic site, will add authenticity to the core-area of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site.

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. The restoration and refurnishing of the Schoolhouse adds an essential ingredient to the Herbert Hoover Story. Here will be interpreted the story of Hoover's West Branch school years and the significance of education to the community.

D. Provision for Operating the Structure

The Schoolhouse will be refurnished and will constitute an exhibit in place.

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

The Herbert Hoover Birthplace Foundation, which holds title to the structure, will fund the restoration and refurnishing of the Schoolhouse. The Service may assist in this work and will interpret the structure.

F. Brief Description of Proposed Construction Activity

The Schoolhouse has been relocated on Lots 29 and 30, Joseph Steer's Plat of West Branch, to front on Poplar Street, and a basement excavated. Historical Architect Bill Wagner has investigated the fabric of the structure and has prepared measured drawings. The construction activity proposed for the Schoolhouse will consist of removal of portions of the fabric not associated with the exterior of the structure in the period 1853-1877, and restoring them to their appearance in the historic period. To carry out this program it will be necessary to: (a) study the building's fabric; (b) replace the window framing and cut new windows; (c) repair and replace siding as needed; (d) roof the structure with wood shingles; (e) replaster the interior walls and add wainscoting as indicated by a study of the fabric; (f) add chimney post; and (g) position blackboards and chalk troughs.

G. Estimate of Cost of Proposed Construction Activity

The cost of restoring and refurnishing the Schoolhouse will be assumed by the Herbert Hoover Birthplace Foundation.

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Last Updated: 28-Jul-2006