The Architectural and Historical Survey of the “Fair Oaks” neighborhood conducted in 2012-2013 is part of a phased program to identify, evaluate, register, and protect the cultural resources of Muscatine by the Muscatine Historic Preservation Commission. The Fair Oaks neighborhood was defined as the area east of Park Avenue, north of Washington Street, west of Weed Park, and south of Hillcrest Avenue. Research was conducted to develop a historic context for this neighborhood and evaluate its significance within the framework of two historic contexts completed in 2008: 19th Century Residential and Neighborhood Development and 20th Century Residential and Neighborhood Development. These historic contexts were utilized to evaluate the historic resources identified during the Fair Oaks survey project. The final report is available for download here, with Appendix A and Appendix B available for download separately.* A map of the survey area and site numbers is found here.*
A total of 135 properties in the Fair Oaks neighborhood were surveyed as part of this project. Properties typically consisted of a house or the combination of a house and historic outbuildings. Overall, there were 231 resources identified, including 134 houses, 94 detached garages or other outbuildings, and three commercial buildings. Iowa Site Inventory forms were not filled out for each property within the scope of this survey project, but a summary page on each property with a photograph was included in Appendix A. The neighborhood was evaluated for its potential eligibility as a historic district for future listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and individual properties were evaluated for their potential to contribute to this historic district. Through this survey, the potential Fair Oaks Historic District was identified that includes the 135 surveyed properties, with approximately 176 contributing buildings and 55 non-contributing buildings.
The Muscatine Historic Preservation Commission hired Rebecca Lawin McCarley, Architectural Historian with SPARK Consulting in Davenport, in 2012 to conduct the survey project. Funding for this project was provided by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, HNI Corporation, and Friends of Muscatine Historic Preservation.