Warren Cultural Center

Greenfield, Iowa

The Warren Cultural Center, which sits on Greenfield, Iowa’s town square, is named for the largest and most culturally significant of its three buildings, the E.E. Warren Opera House. Built in 1896, this Romanesque - inspired building included entertainment, commercial, and residential spaces - not to mention an iconic copper turret The Warren Opera House was a local landmark for decades, but eventually time took its toll. When Greenfield was made a Main Street Iowa community in 1996, the town redoubled its efforts to preserve the Opera House. Led entirely by volunteers, the E.E. Warren Opera House Association raised $4.5 million - an astonishing feat for a rural community of less than 2,000 people. The project’s diverse mix of private and public funding – including state and federal historic tax credits – enabled an expert rehabilitation. This project also catalyzed several other downtown rehabs, including a boutique hotel and new restaurant Best of all, the Warren Cultural Center’s success has elevated the arts locally, revived the town square, and transformed the town’s future – proving how a committed group of people can accomplish anything.