New lodge proposed for Cedar Rapids' Ushers Ferry Historic Village

Public hearing on $1.18 million project set for Feb. 11

Rick Smith
Published: January 27 2014 | 3:12 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:44 am in

Construction is slated to start in April on a $1.18-million lodge at the city’s Ushers Ferry Historic Village next to Seminole Valley Park along the Cedar River.

Thirty-four of 36 buildings in the village — which depicts life in a small Iowa town between 1890 and 1910 — were inundated by water during the city’s Flood of 2008.

Some of the flood-damaged historic buildings were renovated, some demolished, and today, 20 historic buildings remain on the 10-acre village site.

Federal disaster funds that are coming to the city as a result of the flood damage are being used to pay most of the cost of the new lodge.

The City Council will vote today to schedule a public hearing on the project for Feb. 11. Bids are slated to be opened on Feb. 19.

The lodge is designed to provide a four-season venue for events and activities at the village and the 387-acre Seminole Valley Park next to it.

The initial conceptual design work on the lodge was completed in 2011, which has been followed by rounds of discussion and input. Archaeological studies were conducted in the village in 2011 and 2012.

Gail Loskill, spokeswoman for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, said Monday that the archaeological work identified two, 1,500-year-old woodland Indian camps on the site of Ushers Ferry Historic Village.

As a result, the lodge will be built with a 100-foot buffer on its east side so it does not impact either archaeological site.

The lodge project should be complete in August.


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