Local Landmarks & Historic Districts

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Is my property located in a Local Historic District or has it been designated a Local Landmark? 

The City of Ames has one Local Historic District and three Local Landmarks as pictured and described below.

If your property is in the Old Town Historic District or has been designated a Local Landmark, a Certificate of Appropriateness is required before any exterior changes are made on your property. There is NO CHARGE for making application. Contact the Historic Preservation Commission liaison, Ray Anderson at 515-239-5270, if you have any questions. 

 Adams House 03-29-12


- 1013 Adams Street -

Design Criteria 

Martin House Historic Landmark 218 Lincoln Way


- 218 Lincoln Way -

Design Criteria

Martin House Commemorative Poster

Municipal Building 2- 1915 City Hall 03-29-12



- 420 Kellogg Avenue -

Design Criteria

Municipal Building Commemorative Poster

Old Town Historic District 2


- from west side of Clark Avenue to east side of Duff Avenue 

& from north side of 9th Street to north side of 7th Street -

The Old Town Historic District is a 12-block area just north of downtown Ames. It includes a unique collection of the largest and best preserved concentration of late 19th and early 20th century residential architecture in Ames. The size, style, and detail of the homes in the district varies greatly from elaborate Queen Anne and Italianate to simpler bungalows and vernacular styles. A number of the early homes were built for prominent families involved in the development of Ames including business leaders and university faculty.

Old Town Historic District Map

Old Town Historic District was designated a local historic district in 1989 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. As a local historic district, alterations to the exterior of structures are reviewed and approved by the City’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Design Criteria

Walking Tour Brochure 

Classification of Garages in Old Town Historic District

Demolition of Contributing Garages

Why does the community care what happens to my property?

Preserving historic buildings preserves the stability of neighborhoods and the community. The removal of a historic feature such as a porch, trim boards, brackets, chimneys or other character defining features are not easily reversed and usually means they are lost forever. The building’s historic integrity is significantly damaged and, little by little, the integrity of the entire historic neighborhood and community is altered over time. 

What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?

A Certificate of Appropriateness is the approval granted by the Historic Preservation Commission that enables a property owner to make exterior changes including: alteration, new construction, relocation or demolition to a property that is listed as a designated local historic landmark or in a designated local historic district. There is NO CHARGE for making application.

Certificate of Appropriateness Application

The Design Guidelines encourage thoughtful alterations and reinvestment by specifying what changes or additions are appropriate for the style and time period of the property and discouraging those modifications that are incompatible and thus inappropriate. This is done to ensure that the historic quality of the buildings and the neighborhoods are maintained.

Design Guidelines for Alterations

Design Guidelines for New Construction


 Let us help you! Link to Certificate of Appropriateness Application.