Museum of Danish America

Located in Elk Horn, Iowa

Scope of Work

CAP Assessment

Berggren Architects performed a CAP Assessment (Collections Assessment for Preservation) for the Museum of Danish America.

Project Completion


This project was completed in 2018.

The History

Built in 1994.

The museum was built in 1994.


Elk Horn, Iowa

The Museum of Danish America is located in Elk Horn, Iowa.

CAP Assessment

Museum of Danish America

.In 2011, Berggren Architects performed a Collection Assessment for Preservation (CAP) for the Museum of Danish America, then known as the Danish Immigrant Museum. The museum was founded in 1983 with its main museum building opening in 1994. The structure, a three-story half-timbered building, was designed to be reminiscent of traditional Danish architecture of the late Middle Ages. The museum hosts a collection of 30,000 artifacts representative of Danish-American heritage. Along with the main museum building, our assessment also addressed five other structures housing the museum’s records and artifacts: the Bedstemor’s House, the Jens Dixen Cabin, the Morning Star Chapel, the Family History and Genealogy Center, and the Kozy Storage.

Berggren Architects worked with conservator Elisa Redman to put together the report for the Museum of Danish America. In our report, we listed recommendations for all six structures. Our recommendations for the main museum building included the design and installation of a drainage system for water discharge near the east patio, ceasing use of a nylon string grass trimmer near wooden walls, and filling in a joint in the building foundation.

In 2018, Berggren Architects returned to perform a second CAP (a Re-CAP) of the Museum of Danish America alongside conservator Elisa Redman. We were impressed to find that nearly all of the recommendations from our 2011 assessment had been addressed. A Curatorial Center for artifact storage had also been constructed since then. In our report, we addressed a water infiltration issue for the new building. The culprit seemed to be failing caulking, creating a cavity between two parapet walls. We recommended that the parapet be fitted with a continuous metal cap flashing over the top.