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Iowa City Walking Tour
Item 9 of 14

The Thomas C. Carson House is one of the few homes designed in the Second Empire style remaining in Iowa. Its namesake, businessman Thomas C. Carson, built it in 1875. The structure is now a sorority house for the University of Iowa chapter of Alpha Phi. The house is three stories high and features a mansard roof with a diamond shingle pattern, decorative window headers, and an arched double-door at the main entrance. The house is was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and is a contributing property of the East College Street Historic District, which is also listed on the National Register.

Prominent businessman Thomas C. Carson built this historic home in 1875. An excellent example of Second Empire architecture, it is now the sorority house for the University of Iowa chapter of Alpha Phi.

Building, Snow, Window, Sky

Thomas C. Carson, who arrived in Iowa City in 1855 on the first train that reached the town, became one of the leading local businessmen in the county for several decades. He first opened a hardware store and eventually began selling agricultural equipment as well. Carson helped organize the Johnson County Savings Bank in 1872 and later served as president for 28 years. He was a stockholder in a company that acquired an eastern Iowa newspaper in 1879, and had financial interests the city's utilities, including the gas and electric light companies, which he controlled with his sons. Carson was involved in community and civic affairs as well. He served as a city councilman and helped build the courthouse. In 1864 he served as secretary of the Johnson County Agricultural Society. He died in 1905.

Long, Barbara Beving & Christian, Ralph J. "Thomas C. Carson House." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. September 9, 1982.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Bill Whittaker, via Wikimedia Commons: