Perry Iowa has something like 30 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. It has a modern sculpture garden and a thriving arts community. At the centre, at least for tourists, is the Hotel Pattee, a lovingly restored early 20th Century commercial hotel. But the best part is that each room has a historic or commemorative theme.
There is are Chinese, Russian, Scandinavian, Welsh, and Irish rooms in honour of the immigrants who came. There is a woodworkers room furnished with handmade beds, chair, and decorated with the tools of the trade. My sister and I stayed in the Betty Mae Harris Studio room. Betty Mae was a local dance teacher and the room featured her costumes in box frames, publicity photos, and programs from recitals. The decor was a cross between boudoir and green room. Lots of custom-made soft furnishings.
There is no reason other than the hotel, historic streetscape, antique shops, and art galleries for tourists or other travellers to make the detour into the middle of Iowa.
Of course, the buildings are still there because when the rail road left the town high and dry, the big brick shops, banks, and mansions were abandoned. There was no push to modernise. Now they are to be appreciated. Use this link to go to the Hotel Pattee site