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Release: March 2, 1999

"Iowa's Historic Architects" gives insight into Iowa's past

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- History buffs and professionals in architecture alike will want to invest in Wesley I. Shank's "Iowa's Historic Architects," a biographical dictionary cataloging more than 200 architects practicing in Iowa before 1950.

In "Iowa's Historic Architects," published by the University of Iowa Press, Shank does more than just present a listing of architects and the buildings they designed. An immense amount of information has been cataloged, including dates and places of the architects' birth, their personalities and the roles they played in their profession and communities. A complete picture of who Iowa's architects really were, both professionally and personally, is presented in this historical piece.

"Shank has performed a wonderful service for scholars of Iowa architecture by compiling this remarkable work - a convenient source of information about architects who have practiced in the state throughout its history," says Alan K. Lathrop, professor and curator at Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota.

"I predict that it will soon be the custom of anyone writing about the state's great historical buildings to begin research with a visit to 'Iowa's Historic Architects,'" says Tom Morain, administrator at the State Historical Society of Iowa.

An introduction to the history of architecture as a profession in Iowa is included, as well as information about the relative importance of Iowa architects both statewide and nationally.

Shank is a professor emeritus of architecture at Iowa State University. He edited "The Iowa Catalog: Historic American Buildings Survey," published by the UI Press in 1979.

"Iowa's Historic Architects" is available in bookstores for $34.95 cloth, or directly from the UI Press (773) 568-1550.