OSAGE | The Cedar Valley Seminary Foundation has been awarded $510,865 in state historic tax credits.

The Cedar Valley Seminary is one of 13 historic preservation projects across the state receiving the credits to rehabilitate historic buildings, the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced in a news release Thursday.

The 150-year-old building is being remodeled as a community welcome and event center, offering tourist information, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, cooking classes and other amenities. It is expected to open by the end of the year.  

Brendhan Wagner, project manager for the Cedar Valley Seminary project, left, shows Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Gov. Kim Reynolds areas of restoration being completed in the building in June 2017.  File photo

The building was almost torn down after the Osage School Board voted in 2015 to demolish it to make room for an expansion project at Lincoln Elementary.

Stacyville resident Mary Hanke lead a charge to stop its destruction, and the foundation developed an action plan to save the structure. The School Board reversed its decision a month later, giving a citizens’ group time to raise funds to relocate the building.

In 2016, the 500-ton building was moved about 1,000 feet to its new home on the corner of Seventh and Chase streets.

Since then, about $2 million has been raised to renovate the building.

A postcard showing how the Cedar Valley Seminary looked when built in the late 1800s. Submitted

Nearly $20 million was awarded through the Historic Preservation and Cultural Entertainment District tax credit program on Thursday. The program is designed to promote the retention of unique, character-defining buildings and building features that contribute to a community and neighborhood, according to the IEDA. 

The IEDA said it received 24 applications requesting $56 million for the October 2017 registration period.

Projects are scored based on readiness, financing and local support and participation. 


Contact Ashley at 641-421-0556 or on Twitter @GGashkmiller.