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Cody Road Historic District

Le Claire City, Scott County, IA

The Cody Road Historic District [†] is significant both in terms of architecture and of local history. The area contains a rich variety of mid-to-late 19th century architecture and building types, ranging from the simple utilitarianism of workingmen's dwellings, and assorted forms of comercial architecture, to relatively "stylish" examples of upper-middle-class residential construction. Such variety of building stock, particularly that which includes structures from the 1850's, is in Iowa concentrated almost exclusively in the eastern third of the state and is found most typically in the river communities which represent Iowa's earliest settlement history. Furthermore, many of these resources can be associated, directly or indirectly, with some of the persons and activities that played major roles in Le Claire's reputation as a small though bustling center of industry and commerce, and, above all, as an important participant in Mississippi River trade and transportation from the mid-1850's to about 1880.

Some sixty buildings compose the Cody Road Historic District in Le Claire. They are ranged along both sides of a 9'block stretch of U.S. 67, locally known as Cody Road and the community's principal thorofare. The road runs north/south; it is parallel to, and slightly above, the Mississippi River. The road is heavily traveled, being the main road between Clinton on the north and Davenport about 15 miles to the southwest. The district contains both residential and commercial structures, the latter concentrated in the south end and extending north along the east side of Cody Road. Most of the residential structures are found on the west side, facing the Mississippi.

Buildings on the east (river) side of the road typically have high, stone, walk-in basements at the rear, due to the sharp drop of the ground from street level down to the river. North of the main commercial area, buildings on the west side are often situated well above street level, their lots in some cases fronted with stone retaining walls. Buildings in the commercial area, and all those on the east side of the road, are situated quite close to the highway, with sidewalks narrow or nonexistent, and parking haphazard. This latter problem has been "solved" in the cases of certain recent'-commercial buildings, which are large, pre-fab construction set well back behind large parking lots — wholly opposite to the general character of the district.

The buildings, commercial and residential, range in age from the 1850's to new construction, the latter particularly evident toward the south end of the district. The houses are generally in good condition, and for the most part occupied; many of the commercial structures are empty, deteriorated, or extensively "modernized", particularly at street level. Foundations are mostly of local limestone (the town was once well-known locally for its lime and sandstone quarries). Commercial structures are for the most part built of locally manufactured soft brick, while residential structures are of wood, brick, and^ in a few instances, limestone. The scale is low — one or two stories (at street level), with the exception of the 3-story Bard Hotel.

Adapted from: M.H. Bowers, Historian, Division of Historic Preservation, Iowa City, Cody Road Historic District, 1979, National Register of HIstoric Places, Washington, D.C., accessed March, 2022.

Street Names
Cody Road North • Cody Road South