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Looking Back: Vintage Post Cards of Downtown Cedar Rapids

May 12 - August 26, 2012

Greetings from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about 1939.
Looking Forward, Looking Back: Architecture of Downtown Cedar Rapids, Then and Now

As a companion to an exhibition featuring eight new building projects in downtown Cedar Rapids, this exhibition presents more than 115 vintage post cards of the way Cedar Rapids looked 100 years ago. Dating from the 1890s through the 1940s, these post cards depict how downtown Cedar Rapids looked during and after its last transformative building campaign. While most of the building happening today is due to the effects of the flood of 2008, the last moment of significant building in downtown was due to burgeoning businesses, many of which helped make Cedar Rapids great.

Lent from a single local private collection, these small, inexpensive forms of communication illuminated the Cedar Rapids that was, highlight its architectural accomplishments, some of which survive to this day. As a set, these post cards bring the past glory of Cedar Rapids to life.

The companion exhibition, Looking Forward: New Architecture of Downtown Cedar Rapids, celebrates the new architecture of Cedar Rapids through sketches, drawings, and models from the architectural firms themselves and will showcase the architecture of eight public construction and renovation projects: the U.S. Federal Courthouse, the Juvenile Justice Center, the Cedar Rapids Public Library, the Central Fire Station, the NewBo City Market, the Amphitheater, the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, and the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex.

Both the Cedar Rapids of now and the Cedar Rapids of then can be experienced and seen in dialogue with each other.

Support for Looking Forward, Looking Back is provided by The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, ImOn Communications, and Lil' Drug Store Products, Inc. Exhibition programming support is provided by Hills Bank & Trust Company, Penford Products Co., and Phelan’s Interiors. Additional support provided by KMRY Radio, Nesper Signs, and Rapids Reproductions.

Exhibition season support is provided by the Momentum Fund of The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.


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