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Historic Iowa Apartments Reinstalls & Celebrates Rebuilt Prized Fountain

By Parker Stanzione*

[Note: Photographs accompanying this new story in the print edition can be viewed in the full PDF copy in the Current & Back Issues Archive.]

In Logan Circle on Sunday, July 6th, Iowa Condominium residents gathered to rededicate the Iowa’s courtyard fountain in a celebration of community and remembrance. The fountain had been renovated over the last several months and the much anticipated reopening was an opportunity for neighbors to see old friends and meet new ones.

In 1994, the Iowa fountain was first dedicated to the memory of the Iowa’s late neighbor and community leader, John Mignogna. Mignogna was president of the condominium’s board and lived at the Iowa from June 1988 until December of 1993.

“The fountain was his true love and passion. He took personal interest in its beauty and spent much of his own spare time maintaining and caring for the fountain,” said David Peiffer, Iowa resident and member of the landscape committee.

The Iowa fountain’s extensive redesign effort was led by residents Linda Purcell, David Peiffer, and the Iowa’s landscape committee. Kathleen Litchfield, president of Petro Design/Build, one of the Washington area’s leading landscape and garden design experts, was the leadership behind the fountain’s new design and restoration.

The Iowa’s spacious central courtyard greets residents and guests with patches of warm sun, cool shade, and inviting, well-maintained areas to sit and relax. The fountain in the center of the courtyard is the focus for the outdoor space and the gentle sound of splashing water provides a refreshing backdrop to urban living.

The new fountain consists of an attractive multi-spray water feature with a 17′ solid copper ring of water and central cascade with dancing waters. Extensive lights and heating system were installed as part of the renovation process providing residents with a continuously running, year-round water feature.

Litchfield said she designed the fountain to appear as if it was “floating” on the courtyard -that’s why the base of the fountain blends in with the concrete. “This renovation project brings a holistic, positive energy to the courtyard. Something the residents will feel,” says Litchfield.

The original Iowa condominium building was constructed in 1900 and was named after the Iowa Circle, the former name of our present-day Logan Circle. Designed by Thomas Franklin Schneider, the Iowa is one of many iconic Washington buildings he created, including the Ablemarle and the Cairo. Over time, the Iowa slipped into decline and was all but abandoned. It was developer David Clark in 1978 who rescued the building and purchased an additional half block of land where he constructed the 53 town homes. Designed by the acclaimed and highly sought-after firm Oehme, van Sweden and Associates, the enormous courtyard transports you out of a city setting, and the landscaping and water feature provide a sense of great privacy and tranquility.

As in years past, the fountain will continue to serve as a central meeting place in the Iowa’s vibrant community. “The new fountain ensures the Iowa’s commitment to community and deepening the relationships among neighbors in Logan Circle. It’s a very special place, and is truly an enchanting and unexpected oasis unlike any other in the neighborhood,” said Linda Purcell, chair of the landscape committee.

*The writer is an Iowa resident from Logan Circle and sits on condominium’s Communications committee.


Living in Logan Circle

For more information about the Iowa, including photos showing the large landscaped courtyard, visit the condo association’s website at


Copyright (c) 2008 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Parker Stanzione. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited, except as provided by 17 U.S.C. §§ 107 & 108 (“fair use”).