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Dubuque Historic Millwork District


The Historic Millwork District in downtown Dubuque presented a unique opportunity to transform a historical industrial district into a model for economical and sustainable redevelopment. SmithGroupJJR, a subconsultant on this project, worked with the city to create redevelopment and streetscape improvements that have completely rebranded the area using sustainable streetscape and architectural design features reminiscent of the district’s rich past. 

The project, funded through a $5.6 million TIGER Grant, included redevelopment of 18 blocks within the district, all of which utilized “Green Streets” sustainable design strategies. We reused much of the existing historic brick pavers, incorporating flow-through planters along the streetscape, and permeable pavement in the alleys and parking areas. This project received the Iowa Chapter of American Public Works Association’s “Project of the Year in Transportation” Award and was also named one of the “Top 10 Roads” of 2012 by Roads & Bridges.

The project involved obtaining NEPA clearance, sustainable design for paving and stormwater details, construction staging to accommodate existing businesses, utility extensions, replacements and relocations as well as bid document creation consistent with Iowa DOT and FHWA design requirements. Since its completion, the area has seen a boost in activity and has attracted a diverse community of artists, retail vendors, and mixed-use tenants. The project has also received recognition and awards from various planning, transportation, and redevelopment organizations.

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