Koester to Speak at After Hours Event June 18

John Koester will be the featured speaker at Jefferson Matters: After Hours on Tuesday, June 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Jefferson. The event is presented by the Business Improvement Committee of Jefferson Matters: Main Street and sponsored by MacDonald Insurance.

The social time will begin at 5 p.m. with beverages and snacks. The presentation is at 5:30, followed by questions and answers with the speaker and continued socializing.

Koester has been involved with preservation of historic business buildings as a contractor with Koester Construction of Grimes. Koester Construction was the contractor for the restoration of the Lincoln Theatre Building at 101 North Chestnut Street in downtown Jefferson, the location of All Ability Cycles on the first level and offices on the second level.

In 2012, Koester formed an historic development consultancy business. He works closely with Main Street Iowa and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Iowa chapter on historic preservation projects and events.

Jefferson Matters: After Hours is presented quarterly in the downtown district. The first event was held in March at the Elks Lodge. Each After Hours presentation features a social time, cash bar, free appetizers and a speaker.


JM:MS Honored at State Awards Event

Jefferson Matters: Main Street was named a winner in Community Development category and Dr. Jim Teusch of Jefferson was presented a Volunteer of the Year Award at the at the Main Street Iowa dinner and awards ceremony on Friday, May 17, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines.

Jefferson Matters: Main Street was one of just 19 of the 48 Main Street communities in Iowa to be honored as a category winner at the ceremony. The Iowa communities competed in categories representing the four points of the national Main Street program: Design, Economic Restructuring, Organization and Promotion.

Competitive nominations were submitted for 105 projects; 26 were selected for awards and six received honorable mention. Dubuque won three awards and Mount Pleasant and Ottumwa each won two. The awards were presented by Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IDEA).

The local Main Street organization was honored for the renovation of its office building at 110 West Lincoln Way in Jefferson. In its nomination for the award, JM:MS explained that the building was made available through an in-kind contribution from Hy-Vee Drugstore—a three-year lease with a rental charge of only $1 per month.

The nomination noted that “the 350-square-foot building fits well into the heart of Main Street’s desire to preserve. Originally a 5-cent hamburger shop built in the 1920s, it has served many a purpose since. In relatively recent times, the building was a historical museum for the famed Lincoln Highway.”

The interior renovation was helped by a $6,000 grant from the Greene County Community Foundation. Bids were let among area contractors and awarded to Harmer Construction and Durlam Electric. A $100 donation from the Lions Club helped with a facelift to the exterior. The outside walls were power washed and then a team of three JM:MS volunteers painted the building with special attention given to the building’s turrets and faux clay-tile roof. Total cost of the renovation was $18,000.

Teusch, a Jefferson dentist, was part of the painting crew. His nomination pointed out that he “tackled the task of painting stucco. In the name of historic preservation, he spent hours stripping old paint from windows and trim, and then applied the new. Many appreciate Jim’s conscientious work ethic, attention to detail, and vision for a job well done.” He was one of 47 individuals or couples selected by their community for outstanding dedication and volunteer service benefiting the local Main Street program.

In its 27-year history, Main Street Iowa has tracked over $1.2 billion in private investment in the purchase, construction and rehabilitation of property in participating commercial districts, significantly increasing the state’s job and business base. In addition, over two million hours of volunteer time has been logged collectively by local Main Street organizations.

JM:MS to Showcase Building Rehab

Jefferson Matters: Main Street will showcase its award-winning office at 110 West Lincoln Way in downtown Jefferson following the Bell Tower Festival parade on Saturday, June 8.

Volunteers and staff of Jefferson Matters: Main Street will be available from noon to 4 p.m. to discuss the rehabilitation of the building, which was constructed in the early days of the Lincoln Highway. The theme of this year’s Bell Tower Festival is “Celebrating the Lincoln Highway Centennial, 1913-2013.”

Jefferson Matters: Main Street was presented an award in the Community Development category at the recent Main Street Iowa awards gala in Des Moines for its rehabilitation of 110 West Lincoln Way, known in its earlier days as the popular 5-Spot Hamburger Stand restaurant.

Visitors to Jefferson are urged to come to the Jefferson Matters: Main Street building, located just one-half block west of the Bell Tower on Lincoln Way. Information will be available about the Main Street program in Jefferson, including the recent work of the Tower View Team…. Wait ‘til You See.

The mission of Jefferson Matters: Main Street is to work together as a community to strengthen, support and energize Jefferson’s downtown through historic preservation.