After moving to Dubuque nearly two decades ago, Christy Monk immersed herself in the history of the city.
She loved learning the secrets and stories of the many homes and buildings erected during the turn of the 20th century and by joining the Dubuque Historic Preservation Commission, she was able to lend her knowledge of the landmarks in the area to others.
“I am very impressed with their historic properties and what they are trying to preserve with the commission,” Monk said. “It has been a really good learning experience, and I use my knowledge to make myself seem more approachable to people. I can talk about masonry and water intrusion at a level people understand.”
Monk, 40, who works at FEH Design in Dubuque as a principal architect, was recently recognized for her “service to the community of Dubuque” by the American Institute of Architects Iowa Chapter.
Kevin Eipperle, the vice president of the company, said he has worked with Monk for about 15 years. In that time, he has seen her become more and more involved in the city. Monk serves on the Historic Preservation Commission Board and is president of Carnegie-Stout Public Library’s Board of Trustees.
“She spends a lot of her spare time serving the community,” Eipperle said. “She is very well organized and a very good mentor to some of our younger staff, and she has also encouraged younger architects to take on larger roles.”
Eipperle said Monk has been a part of the creation of popular projects in the city such as the Multicultural Family Center, the Dubuque Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic and the new Dubuque County facility at 1225 Seippel Road.
Monk said she uses her knowledge of historic properties and role on the historic preservation board to educate people on the value of each building, as she guides them through the proper ways to restore buildings.
“One of the roles of the commission is education,” she said. “If someone wants to make modifications to their historic structure, they need to follow the local guidelines.”
Currently, Monk is restoring her own historic home, built in 1911. She’s passionate about using her knowledge to find ways to better the community and neighborhood.
“Our goal is to improve some of the historic building stock around Dubuque,” she said. “I think it’s an exciting time in Dubuque. We have cool buildings, and it’s exciting people want to use them.”