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Dubuque News

Posted on: July 19, 2018

Dubuque’s Driftless North End Designated as Iowa Great Place

IDCA Iowa Great Places Logo

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has designated Dubuque’s Driftless North End as an Iowa Great Place for 2018. The designation for the area is new, but is a redesignation for the community.

Dubuque was originally recognized as an Iowa Great Place in 2007 and Steeple Square received the designation in 2017.


The Iowa Great Places program provides designation and supports the development of new and existing infrastructure intended to cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of neighborhoods, communities, and regions in Iowa.  “The Iowa Great Places program celebrates communities with a bold vision to develop their communities through innovation, placemaking and integration of arts, history and culture to enrich their residents’ overall quality of life,” said Chris Kramer, acting director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.


Dubuque’s Driftless North End, the geographic focus of the Great Place re-designation, extends from the majestic bluffs on the western edge of the city to the city limits that trace the Mississippi River shoreline on the east. Residents of this historic district are minutes away from outdoor recreational opportunities, and just steps away from an urban core made of commercial architectural treasures ready to be revitalized into mixed-use neighborhoods. Streetscapes that once bustled with horse-drawn carriages, then automobiles, are being transformed through public art and other amenities to create pedestrian-friendly “third spaces.”


In addition to designation and redesignation, Iowa Great Places can apply for funding this fall for projects that are tied to their community’s vision plan. Funding comes from an annual appropriation from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund to the Iowa Great Places program by the Iowa Legislature. Currently, Iowa has 45 Great Places with 13 projects in progress. The average Iowa Great Places grant award from 2014 to 2018 was $204,000.


For more information about the Iowa Great Places program and Iowa Cultural & Entertainment Districts, visit www.iowaculture.gov.


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The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa, the state office of media production, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the State Historic Preservation Office – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations. iowaculture.gov.

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