What You'll Find Here
- Home of the University of Iowa president
The residence was first occupied by President George E. MacLean and contains a third-floor ballroom (though difficult to access and seldom, if ever, actually used for public functions), second-floor private quarters, and a first floor made public for receptions, fund-raising, and other outreach efforts. Those public areas greet as many as 2,500 visitors every year at up to fifty events. The State Board of Regents requires that the University president live in the facility.
Due to such heavy use and decades of administrative reluctance to update the house, by 2002 the building was in dire need of significant rehabilitation. While the University presidency was vacant prior to the selection of David J. Skorton as president, the University, in conjunction with the State Board of Regents, began a comprehensive renovation project that included a garage addition to the east of the original structure, a complete overhaul of the original mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems, and the addition of an elevator shaft to provide for improved accessibility. Major repairs to the kitchen and west and north porches corrected structural concerns and significantly improved the ability to host events.
Restoring the Georgian Revival home with period-appropriate details was paramount. The residence is a classically detailed structure that recollects the Pentacrest, especially in its use of the Ionic order at the entrance portico. Like those of the Old Capitol, the portico columns are wooden. During the renovation, colonettes were also added to the west porch, better integrating it with the rest of the house. The addition to the east not only improved access but better balanced the overall massing of the structure. Careful brick selection and detailing helped to match the new to the original. Inside, period light fixtures were chosen for their compatibility with designs popular at the turn of the century, and a humble elegance in finishes was achieved as the house recollects its early years.
The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.