Iowa City Public Library DHP
ICPL Friends Foundation

Century Suppers

From the Foreward: In 1986, the Iowa City Public Library Foundation followed in the footsteps of the founders of the Iowa City Public Library who originally raised the funds necessary for our Library. Realizing the importance of our free public library system, the Library Foundation began a fund drive to ensure the library's continued excellence. The Centennial Endowment Fund Drive was created to raise $1,000,000 by 1996, the centennial of the founding of the Iowa City Public Library, to fund an endowment which will enhance the programs and collections of the library.

On April 12, 1986, the Library Foundation held a gala to kick off the Endowment Fund Drive. In keeping with the memory of our founders, this evening was a celebration of our past. All guests at the black-tie gala were invited to
join in the spirit by dressing in turn-of-the-century costumes. The reception held at the Public Library was a colorful evening with different events held throughout the many areas of the building. Guests enjoyed the entertainment while sipping wine and enjoying hors d'oeuvres.

After the reception, dinners were held in many of the historic homes of Iowa City which were in existence in 1896, when the first fund raising began. Each host chose a literary theme around which the meal and the evening were centered.

Century Suppers was created from the dinners held that evening. It is intended to entertain, inform and help you to experience the special evening of April 12. As editors, we take credit only for the arrangement. The text describing the houses was written by Robert Alexander; the information about the two library buildings was provided by Hansen Lind Meyer Architects; the wines were selected by John Gillespie of Claret and Friends; and the menus and recipes were provided by the generous hosts and cooks for that evening. All profits will benefit the library's Centennial Endowment Fund. Our thanks to those who helped.

Patricia Forsythe Carolyn Gross
Co-conspirators and co-editors


Alexander, Robert, “Century Suppers,” Iowa City Public Library DHP, accessed May 21, 2024,