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Ely Historic Preservation Commission

The Ely Historic Preservation Commission, an arm of city government, was created by the City Council in the autumn of 1999.  Its mission is to preserve the historically significant buildings of the City by means of identification, public education, fundraising, and helping to implement such legal protections as are appropriate.  The Commission spearheaded the formation of the Ely Community History Society, Inc.

The Commission received Certified Local Government status from the State Historical Society of Iowa in March of 2000 and received a certified Local Government grant in 2001 to aid in the nomination of Ely's Dows Street Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.  The application was approved by the State Historical Society in 2002.

Through the efforts of the Commission, the Dows Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places November 14, 2003, and the Ely School House, now the Ely Community Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of September 20, 2006.

It is believed that Ely will benefit from the continued presence of the past in our built environment.  The buildings of the Dows Street Historic District create a harmonious visual style lending quality and character which should act as the backbone for future development unique to Ely.  A listing on the National Register does not limit the actions of property owners in any way.  Only changes in the zoning ordinances at the level of city government can accomplish design review regulations.


Ely Historic Preservation Commission

For information contact the City of Ely
(319) 848-4103


Joseph Jonas ran a shoe shop in this building
which no longer exists.  It was located on Dows
Street, just east of the old Ely bank building. 
Later it became a restaurant (as pictured). 
Standing in the photo are Anna (Holets) Jonas
and a "school master".