Did you ever wonder how downtown Iowa City arrived at some of the street names we have? Sure, Washington and Jefferson are pretty straight forward, but what about Ronalds, Brown, Bloomington, and Dodge?
In 1839 – Iowa City, as it was laid out on L. Judson’s map, was one square mile (640 acres) of land – with 100 surveyed blocks in the center. Each of those city blocks measured approximately 2.35 acres (320 ft x 320 ft) – and each of the surveyed blocks was sectioned into eight lots measuring 80 x 150 feet.
With six exceptions, the twenty-four streets of Iowa City – which run either east and west (12) or north and south (12) – were designated to be 80 feet wide. The exceptions were Iowa Avenue (120 feet wide) and Washington, Jefferson, Capitol, and Madison (100 feet wide). The 12 north/south streets from west to east are named – Front, Madison, Capitol, Clinton, Dubuque, Linn, Gilbert, Van Buren, Johnson, Dodge, Lucas, and Governor. The 12 east/west streets from north to south are named – Brown, Ronalds, Church, Fairchild, Davenport, Bloomington, Market, Jefferson, Iowa (Avenue), Washington, College, and Burlington.
Join us as we take a deeper look at the stories behind the 24 original streets of Iowa City.
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