The oldest extant house in Iowa City, the Kuhl House was built around 1840 by Robert Hutchinson, a carpenter and joiner from New Hampshire. An early arrival to the Iowa Territory, Hutchinson went on to help with the construction of Old Brick, a church adjacent to Main Campus North, and became Iowa City’s first town marshal. His descendants sold the house to Ernest Kuhl, a professor of English at the University, in 1927. The Kuhls did extensive renovation to the original farmhouse and eventually sold it to the University in 1977. Initially used as an art studio, the building is now the home of the University of Iowa Press.
Kuhl House’s limestone walls and lintels were quarried just north of the building site—the story goes that the blocks used here were rejects from the construction of Old Capitol. The original structure was a sturdy one-story house, with twenty-six-inch-thick foundation walls. When the Kuhls began renovations in 1927, they replaced the original floor planking with hardwood, added a black walnut staircase, and raised the roofline. Hutchinson’s original farmhouse became an elegant home, with an additional six feet of height to accommodate a second story, and five dormer windows.
The main level is accessible to persons with disabilities.