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SPARK Consulting has served eastern Iowa and northern Illinois as well as the broader Midwest region since 2003.  Rebecca Lawin McCarley, an architectural historian, is the principal of the firm.  She holds a Master's degree in Historic Preservation from Ball State University and a Bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis in Architecture and History.  She meets the federal professional qualifications for an Architectural Historian as well as a Historian, and her qualifications have been certified by the State Historic Preservation Offices in Iowa and Illinois.  Ms. McCarley worked for several years in Kentucky prior to returning to the Midwest and her home state of Iowa in 2003.  At this time, she formed SPARK Consulting to provide historic preservation services in Iowa and Illinois.  The company was based in Davenport from 2003 through 2017.  Since fall 2017, SPARK Consulting has been based Cedar Rapids, continuing to serve clients throughout Iowa and Illinois.


Ms. McCarley completes various types of historic preservation projects each year, including architectural surveys, National Register of Historic Places nominations, and historic tax credit applications. She has worked with a variety of organizations, including historic preservation commissions, Main Street programs, non-profit historic preservation organizations, heritage tourism organizations, state historic preservation offices, state transportation departments, and cultural resource management firms. Her research specialties include Midwest architecture and octagon houses. She has presented information on octagon houses at several national and regional conferences as well as guest lecturing in architectural history courses.


Contact Information

Rebecca Lawin McCarley

SPARK Consulting

1630 Park Ave SE

Cedar Rapids, IA  52403



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Last modified:  January 2021