Valley Junction Officially Historical

Above: Historic and picturesque, Valley Junction can draw a crowd when the district hosts special events.

The West Des Moines commercial district that calls itself Historic Valley Junction is now certifiably historic – and they have the papers to prove it.

The neighborhood group and the State Historic Preservation Office announced Monday that the area has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The designation from the National Park Service covers 52 historic properties along a three-block stretch of Fifth Street and several cross streets that developed in the railroad boom years of the 1890s and evolved into a charming cluster of shops, galleries, bars and restaurants.

Today, the area’s early Italianate brick buildings stand shoulder-to-shoulder with mid-century Classical Revival designs and the sleeker storefronts that went up in the 1950s and ’60s.Getting listed on the register is the first step toward eligibility for various federal preservation tax credits and grant programs.

“Historic Valley Junction has thrived for more than a century,” said Jim Miller, executive director of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation. “There are so many great stories here, so we’re delighted the National Register designation can help us share our history with future generations.”

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