Mother Mosque of America
The Mother Mosque of America is the oldest structure specifically built to be a mosque in America (a mosque was built in 1929 in North Dakota was the first one but that one burned down, leaving the Mother Mosque as the oldest surviving mosque). The architecture is a simple one-story building with a basement. Nonetheless, given its important religious and cultural history, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Backstory and Context
Muslims of Cedar Rapids were involved in religious and social organizations in the 1920s and 1930s. The first one was the League of Bountiful Flowers and a second one was The Rose of Fraternity Lodge. Out of these organizations came the the effort to construct a mosque, which was completed in 1938. It served the community for forty years until it was sold after a new, bigger mosque was constructed in 1971. The building deteriorated after that but the Islamic Council of Iowa bought it and restored it to its original state in 1991. It now serves as a Muslim cultural center. In 2008, the floods damaged virtually all of the mosques historical records in the basement.
http://www.mothermosque.org/page.php?2 "Moslem Temple." National Register of Historic Places. 5-5-96 http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/96000516.PDF