2016 Preservation at its Best, Small Commercial: Walden Block
This project involved four discreet historic buildings in downtown Waterloo. The buildings, built between 1880’s and 1950s, displayed the transitions of Waterloo from the 1880’s through the art deco period of the 1930’s and into the growth of the 1950’s. It is a visual architectural history lesson. At the project outset, this once thriving block of Waterloo filled with shops, people and life was boarded up, vacant and desolate.
Through working directly with the state historical preservation office, every effort was coordinated to push forward in rehabilitating these storefronts with apartments above.
Like many preservation projects, discoveries during construction provided both challenges and rewards. In the case of the Walden Block, charred floor joists were discovered and required correction; however, skylights and metal ceilings were also hidden and recovered.
The end result is a vibrant block in downtown Waterloo that brings new life in the form of modern, upscale housing and shopping/dining options.
Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.
The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Preservation at its Best award winners includes:
- Mott Lofts
- Worth Brewing Company
- Polk County Courthouse
- The Randolph
- Grand Mound Fire Station
- American Enterprise Group
- State Theatre
- Walden Block
- Cedar Falls Old Post Office