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

The Second Hoover House. This structure stood until the autumn of 1923 on the lot at the northeast corner of Downey and Cedar streets.

B. Proposed Use of Structure

At a meeting held at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site on August 19, 1971, it was determined to recommend reconstruction of the Second Hoover. [1] This well be an exterior reconstruction, because documentary data necessary for an accurate reconstruction of the interior, despite an exhaustive search, is unavailable. The building's interior will house interpretive exhibits and other related activities.

C. Justification for Such Use as Shown on 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 reconstruction of the Second Hoover House is vital to a correct interpretation of Jesse Hoover's economic role in the community.

After marrying Huldah Minthorn, Jesse Hoover and his father built the little three-room Cottage, while he worked as a blacksmith. By 1879 Jesse Hoover had become a successful businessman and was ready to expand his economic horizons. In that year he sold his blacksmith shop and entered the implement business. Like most Americans who have improved their economic status, Hoover bought and moved his family into a more commodius home. It was in this house that Jesse and Huldah Hoover died. This was the house that was associated with Herbert Hoover's boyhood memories of West Branch.

The reconstruction of the Second Hoover House will compliment and enhance the P. T. Smith House, and will constitute a prominent landmark near the entrance to the roadway leading to the Presidential Library and grave sites. The projected reconstruction will meet the guidelines for reconstructions enumerated in, Administrative Policies for the Historical Areas of the National Park Service. It should be noted, however, that an attempt to restore and/or refurnish the interior—if such should ever be contemplated—will not meet the policies, owing to the necessarily speculative nature of such a project. The reconstruction will be exterior only, with the interior given adaptive (exhibit) use.

D. Provision for Operating the Structure

The Second Hoover House will constitute an exhibit in place and be a part of the historic scene. The structure will house interpretive exhibits.

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

No cooperative agreement is anticipated.

F. Brief Description of Proposed Construction Activity

Before the restoration architects prepare their working drawings for reconstruction of the Second Hoover House, an archeological excavation should be programmed. The goal of this project will be the location and identification of the foundation of the Second Hoover House. Such information will enable the restoration architects to determine accurately the dimensions of the structure.

After drawings and specifications have been prepared, the Second Hoover House will be reconstructed. It will be an exterior reconstruction, with the interior modified to provide space for such activities as management determines.

G. Estimate of Cost of Proposed Construction

Preliminary Archeological Investigation$ 5,000
Reconstruction of Second Hoover House25,000

Note: Costs of interior finishing and exhibit planning and installation are not included in these figures.

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Last Updated: 28-Jul-2006