Corps Begins Repairs To Lockmaster House

The St. Paul Engineer District has begun making repairs to the Lock and Dam 10 lockmaster house at Upper Mississippi River Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa. Corps officials awarded a contract to Aegean Construction Supply Corporation, from Shalimar, Fla., to complete the rehabilitation work. The contractors started work on the project in May and hope to finish by the end of fall.

The Corps completed a historic preservation management plan on the house in 2019 and is now implementing recommendations to improve visitor safety. The improvements include removing lead paint; restoring historic characteristics of the house such as a roof replacement, wood siding work and chimney work; and reconditioning the shutters and windows.

“It is important to the Corps to provide a positive and safe experience to those visiting, but we also recognize the need to preserve the historic character of the house,” said Vanessa Alberto, district archaeologist. “This house is one of the last remaining lockmaster houses on the river and is a symbol of the cultural history and heritage of not only the 1930s Great Depression but the construction of the lock and dam system on the river.”

The lockmaster house was built between 1937 and 1938 and is the last remaining lockmaster residence in its original location on the Mississippi River. From 1938 to 1971, lockmasters were required to live in these houses with their families on lock and dam sites. A lockmaster lived at the Lock and Dam 10 lockmaster house until 1990. The Corps now leases the house to the Guttenberg Heritage Society to operate as a museum. The house is closed to the public and visitors during the rehabilitation.

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