HISTOURY HOPPER

If you are interested in joining multiple tours this season or planning to bring the whole family, our histoury hopper is a great way to save money. It also makes a great gift for history buffs of all ages.
Available for purchase at
The History Center

The History Center Tours

The History Center offers fun and informative walking tours January through October. Special walking tours may occasionally be scheduled, so keep an eye out for any announcements.
Two bike tours are scheduled each summer. These tours explore different routes: the North Route and South Route. All biking tours begin and end at Hall Bicycle, 419 Second Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.
 
FREE bike rentals are available for bike tour participants at Hall Bicycle. To reserve a bike, please call Hall Bicycle at (319) 362-1052.
Tour Admission
$5.00 for History Center Members
$7.00 for General Public

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To view our severe weather guidelines, click here

2021 Tour Safety Guidelines

  • Tours are currently limited to 16 individuals.
  • All tours require advanced ticket sale. Please see tour description to purchase tickets. Payments will not be accepted at time of tour.
  • Masks are required for all individuals.
  • Social distancing is strongly encouraged.
 

2021 Walking Tours

Skywalk North Route

March 9, 2021

1:00PM

Learn about the history and architecture of downtown Cedar Rapids from the Skywalks! The North Route Skywalk tour looks at areas between 4th Avenue and First Avenue.

Meeting location: this tour starts and ends on the second floor of the Cedar Rapids Public Library located at 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Skywalk South Route

March 30, 2021

1:00PM

Explore the South Route of the Downtown Cedar Rapids Skywalk system starting from the Cedar Rapids Public Library. This route focuses on viewing areas along Fourth and Fifth Avenue SE between the train tracks and the Cedar River from the special viewpoint of the skywalk system. This tour showcasing architecture and history features sections of the Wholesale District as well as areas redeveloped over the past 35 years that are not seen on the North Route Skywalk Tour.

Meeting location: this tour starts and ends on the second floor of the Cedar Rapids Public Library located at 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Downtown Cedar Rapids

June 8, 2021

6:00PM

Discover the oldest section of the city!  This walking tour includes information on the development history of the evolving city center, its famous retail past as “Eastern Iowa’s Shopping Center”, railroads and streetcars, and the area known as Greene Square.

Meeting location: The History Center, 800 Second Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Mays Island

July 6, 2021

6:00PM

Learn about the early history of Mays Island and how Cedar Rapids transformed it into the only island government center in the Western Hemisphere. Following a tour of the island, experience the history of what was originally known as “Commercial Street”.

 

This tour along several blocks of First Street SE will reveal details about the earliest downtown retail locations before the Civil War period, the construction of landmark “skyscrapers” and a close look at surviving historic warehouse structures including the Smulekoff and Hach buildings.

Meeting location: this tour meets outside of City Hall located at 101 1st Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Kingston Village

July 20, 2021

6:00PM

Experience the rich history of the area along the west side of the Cedar River that was originally the town of Kingston before being annexed as West Cedar Rapids in1870.  Learn about new developments and stories of restoration and preservation in this area that was named Kingston Village following the devastating effects of the June2008 Flood.

  

Highlights of this tour include a rare Art Deco former police station, the first west side high school building and a special look at the famous Louis Sullivan designed Peoples Bank building.

Meeting location: this tour meets outside of the former Popoli Ristorante located at 101 3rd Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Automobile Row/

Mansion Hill

August 3, 2021

6:00PM

Learn about the area originally known as “Mansion Hill'' along Third, Second and First Avenues East. Get a closer look at the very few surviving 19th century residences on the “Hill”.

 

Discover how this section of Cedar Rapids was transformed into “Automobile Row” following the routing of the Lincoln Highway as early as1913. See many of the restored “Auto Row” structures and get updates on how the area is changing with the expanding MedQuarter District.

Meeting location: this tour begins and ends at The History Center located at 800 Second Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

Northern Downtown & Tree of Five Seasons

August 17, 2021

6:00PM

Begins at the “Tree of Five Seasons,” the location where Cedar Rapids began with one log cabin in 1837. From there, this tour takes a close look at the history and special architecture from the past and present along both First Avenue and A Avenue NE in the downtown area. Highlights include the earliest central retail shopping areas and the old theatre and entertainment districts as well as a look at the oldest structure standing in the center of the city.

Meeting location: this tour begins at the Tree of Five Seasons located at 1st Street & 1st Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

 

2021 Bike Tours

North Route

July 24, 2021

10:00AM

Highlights include the old hotel and entertainment district of downtown Cedar Rapids, a look at the railroad yards and Cedar Lake areas as well as stops near the old Magnus Brewery and "beer caves" site.

Meeting location: this tour begins at Hall Bicycle located at 419 Second Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

South Route

August 21, 2021

10:00AM

Highlights include stops throughout the historic Wholesale and Warehouse District as well as segments of the New Bohemia and Czech Village neighborhoods.

Meeting location: this tour begins at Hall Bicycle located at 419 Second Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Bike Tours are generously co-sponsored by:

Walking Tours are generously sponsored by:

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Outdoor Tour
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Hours

Tuesday - Saturday

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Admission

$7.00 for general public

$5.00 for students (with ID)

Free for children ages 4 and younger

Free for members of The History Center

All galleries and exhibits are self-guided.

The History Center

Linn County Historical Society

800 Second Avenue SE

Cedar Rapids, IA  52403

office@historycenter.org

Tel: 319-362-1501