Storm does not spare historic sites in Cedar Rapids, Marion

Historical properties in the Cedar Rapids and Marion area did not escape damage from Monday’s storm.

David Janssen, executive director of Brucemore Mansion, 2160 Linden Dr. SE, said most of the damage is to the 26-acre estate’s landscaping, which “has taken a body blow.”

“That will be evident for a generation,” Janssen said.

Janssen said 40 to 50 trees, from 75 to 100 years old, have been downed or snapped.

He said each of the seven historical buildings located on the estate took some damage. He said very few are in jeopardy of collapse.

“We did lose some roofing, some other materials,” he said. “There is a tree on the historic greenhouse, on the glass structure there. We also have a second, more modern greenhouse in the back that lost about 40 percent of its panels. A lot of the structure is damaged there.”

Cedar Rapids historian Mark Stoffer Hunter said many other historic sites in Cedar Rapids also sustained damage.

The last surviving building of the old Sinclair meatpacking factory, at 705 16th Ave. SE, was at the top of Hunter’s list. An third of the building, which was built in the 1870s, is collapsed Hunter said.

“It’s probably one of the most significant to the city’s history,” Hunter said. “It’s just like Quaker Oats. Those two companies made Cedar Rapids the metropolis it is today ... That a significant historic loss.”


Another historic location, the old Chandler Pump factory, founded in 1890 and located on 707 B Ave. NW, lost its roof and at least some of the second floor, Hunter said.

Hunter said St. Wenceslaus, 1224 Fifth St., had some damages to the church.

“There are some busted metal spiral elements on the higher part of the tower,” he said. “Some bricks also fell off.”

He said the Glovik Parish Center also has major roof damage.

The current church, which was built in 1904, was heavily damaged during the 2008 flood. “It’s a second whammy,” Hunter said.

The A.T. Averill house, 1120 Second Ave. SE, had roof damage and its tower is tilted, Hunter said. The house is one of Cedar Rapids’ oldest and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Hunter said the Olmstead House, 1403 Second Ave. SE, had significant damage to its front porch. The home was designed by one of the architects who designed Brucemore.

The Czech School is fine, Hunter said, but an attached garage built in the 1930s has collapsed.

“They are both under the same address, but the much more historic Czech building itself is fine. The garage is a total loss. Thankfully, the school did not sustain damage,” he said.

Abby Huff, executive director of Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District said two of the hardest hit and oldest buildings in Czech Village were Cafe Saint Pio and Lucky’s on 16th.

“At Saint Dio, all of the windows were blown out on the first floor,” Huff said. “And it just went through a heavy rehab ... it was hard for us, it’s really insane for us.”

Huff said at Lucky’s on 16th, the roof of the building was blown off.


“It came off the second floor portion and onto the first floor, so water was leaking into the building,” Huff said.

“It’s a bunch of things that nobody expected and after also being in a pandemic, it’s not easy,” Huff said. “But we’ve done it before and we will do it again. Cedar Rapids is a resilient city.”

The Granger House Victorian Museum, 970 10th St. in Marion, has significant damage from high winds. The roof blew off one section, said Adam Hyatt, the president of the museum.

“Hyatt said the ceiling still is intact and offers some protection to the interior of the building, though some water has been dripping on the inside the house.

“We did get some artifacts out of the house and into a safe place,” Hyatt said. “With the ceiling still standing, we got there early enough to move historical documents out of the way, Hopefully, everything is salvable.”

In Uptown Marion, across from the Marion Public Library, one of two historic houses scheduled to be moved this week was severely damaged, said Joe Hill, owner of the property.

“The roof was completely blown off,” Hill said.

The houses at 525 11th St. and 520 12th St. were built in the 1800s and sit on the property where the new Marion Public Library will be built. The current library suffered roof damage from the storm as well, City Manager Lon Pluckhahn said.

Comments: (319) 398-8255;

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.