Historical Markers

Historical Marker Guidelines Historical Marker Guidelines


A cooperative program between the Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACCVB), Amana Heritage Society, and the Amana Colonies Land Use District (ACLUD) provides a streamlined and low cost procedure for ordering, mounting, and displaying individual signs identifying the historical and cultural significance of residential and commercial properties within the Amana villages.

Every property in every village has a unique story to tell about the Amana communal experience and these interpretative signs can increase the awareness of such history. Visitors will come away with a greater appreciation of the total history of the Colonies; current owners of buildings can take pride in the important role their properties played in that history.

Owners and occupiers of historic buildings are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these procedures for identifying their properties.

These guidelines explain the procedures for ordering, mounting, and displaying interpretative signs for individual buildings. As specified below, signs must be ordered through the Amana Heritage Society using the procedures described herein.


The need for readable interpretative signs identifying the historical and cultural significance of all buildings within the Amana Colonies has been recognized for many years. Some years ago, the Amana Society placed wooden signs on a number of their buildings but many of those are now faded and difficult to read. Attempts have also been made to obtain outside grant money to purchase such signs but none of these applications has been successful. In addition, the original ACLUD ordinances required an individual permit and a $30 fee for each sign which has discouraged individual property owners from purchasing signs on their own.

In 2006, the ACCVB Board of Directors designated a small task force to develop a new program for individual interpretative signs. A favorable response by the ACLUD board in September 2006 indicated that the individual permits and $30 fee might be waived if a uniform sign size and format could be developed as well as a set of guidelines and procedures for ordering and mounting signs. At the December 2006 ACLUD meeting, the Board formally waived individual permits and fees pending the development of an appropriate set of guidelines and procedures. These guidelines were formally approved by the ACLUD Board on August 6, 2007.

Procedures for Ordering Signs

To insure uniformity in signage, accuracy of historical information and to take advantage of the waiver of individual permits and fees, all interpretative signs for individual buildings and properties must be ordered through the Amana Heritage Society. All signs will be the same size and color and uniform in format (see Appendix B). For additional information, please contact The Amana Heritage Society at 319-622-3567 or email amanaheritage@southslope.net or ACLUD at 319-622-3840 or email aclud@netins.net.

Ordering procedures are as follows:

  1. Fill out attached application form and send or bring to the Amana Heritage Society along with $60 to cover the cost of the sign. Put as much information on the form as possible including common name of the building, date built, and significance of property. If information unknown, leave those sections blank.
  2. Amana Heritage Society will research the property, verify information provided and add to or correct information as appropriate.
  3. Amana Heritage Society will ask applicant to approve final version of sign with corrected information.
  4. Amana Heritage Society will file a copy of sign with ACLUD.
  5. Amana Heritage Society will order sign.
  6. When sign is available, applicant will be asked to pick it up at Heritage Society.
Mounting Requirements:
  • Sign must be mounted on the building exterior or the rails of a fence on the property;
  • Sign must be permanently attached to building or fence with screws, bolts or other permanent fasteners; on brick or stone surfaces, must be attached to mortar, not stone or brick
Mounting Suggestions

While individual buildings and properties will vary considerably, the drawings below provide suggestions for mounting signs on typical Amana structures (next to main door, near a corner of the building, on a fence near the street, etc). Signs will last longer and are less likely to sustain accidental damage if all four corners of the sign are attached to the building or fence. Signs can be strengthened with a weather-treated plywood backing.

Appendix A

Formal Requirements and Relevant ACLUD Ordinances Formal Requirements Several sections within the ACLUD Zoning Ordinance provide formal regulations for individual interpretative signs. Using those ordinances, a set of guidelines for signs has been developed. All signs will be ordered with these specifications.

Size, Format, and Material:
  • 14” wide by 20” high and made of an approved material.
  • black background with white lettering
  • contain three sections: (a) a top section with Amana Colonies logo and the words “National Historic Landmark”; (b) a middle section with the name of the property and date it was built; and (c) a lower section with up to 6 lines of information which may include the original and current uses of the property, names of significant residents, unique construction material, and/or significant events or incidents which occurred on the property.
  • See example format in Appendix B.
Relevant Sections of the ACLUD Ordinance
Appendix B

Noe House Example