The Old Capitol (Old Cap)

The Old Capitol (Old Cap)

21 North Clinton Street

Together, Old Capitol Museum and the Museum of Natural History (next door in Macbride Hall) form the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums. Old Capitol Museum has been in operation since 1976, when the building reopened after a major renovation. It is the only National Historic Landmark in Iowa City. Throughout its long history, the building has served as a seat of the territorial and state governments, a university building serving numerous schools and colleges, administrative offices, and finally a museum.

From City Guide: Iowa City by Jan Weissmiller:

Built in 1840, the Old Capitol building has been beautifully restored. The first-floor museum often features exhibits related to the Workshop. A gorgeous spiral staircase leads to the original Senate chambers, where literary events are frequently held. Recent events include a retirement celebration for long-time Iowa Review editor David Hamilton and an evening with Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey, sponsored by the Derek Project, a nonprofit organization that introduces students from the Iowa City Community Schools to a well-known author.


Margaret Walker Honored in Iowa City with Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Poet, novelist Margaret Walker was honored by the University of Iowa in 1988. From the Press-Citizen, May 6, 1988:

[Walker], 72, a poet, novelist and retired Jackson State University English teacher who still lives in Jackson , Miss., was honored Saturday with a distinguished alumni achievement award from the University of Iowa.

[Walker] said she can to Iowa in 1939 “absolutely penniless and determined to learn to write.”

She came back Saturday with 18 family members, including her four children and nine grandchildren, who took up three tables at the awards banquet.

She credits Paul Engle, long-time director fo the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, with getting her to Iowa and helping direct her as a writer.

“He was my friend, with whom I fussed and fought every day over what I was writing,” she said. “He’s just been a friend. He and I never agreed on anything, but he was always on my corner.”

Speer, David. “”UI Honors Poet Alexander” May 6, 1988.” Press-Citizen [Iowa City, Iowa] 06 May 1988: n. pag. Print. [Web: African American Women in Iowa Digital Collection,]