The Forge (Odd Fellows Building) Restoration and Renovation


The Forge (Odd Fellows Building) Restoration and Renovation


East Street Properties, LLC


Jefferson, Iowa

Project Details

Schemmer was retained to provide architectural services for renovation of the historic Odd Fellows Building in Jefferson, Iowa. The 6,000 SF building, which is considered a contributing building to the Jefferson Square Commercial Historic District, was renovated into premium office space for a software development company, Pillar Technology. This building was renovated in accordance with the State Historical Preservation Office and National Park Service’s Historical Preservation Standards and Guidelines.

The project consisted of a complete interior demolition and remodel. Key historical features that were highlighted included windows set in cast stone window arches, pressed-metal ceilings and the large wooden interior doorways on the second floor in the former Independent Order of Odd Fellows meeting space. The front facade had select mortar repointing and brick replacement. The masonry was cleaned and sealed with a breathable, clear siloxane sealer to assist in repelling water.

The first floor of the building is split between a training bay and an open office bay that can double as a venue for community events. The second floor is an open office space. Schemmer also provided assistance with State and Federal historic tax credit applications.

This is truly a catalytic project for the community of Jefferson and rural Iowa as a whole. In April of 2020, this project received the Signature Project Award from the Main Street Iowa Awards.