MARION, Iowa — Save CR Heritage offered a “triple treat” during a visit to neighboring Marion during the group’s Feb. 22, 2020, Museum Meetup.
With the greatest attendance since the quarterly meetups began in August 2018, about 40 people visited the Marion Heritage Center, the nearby Marion Masonic Temple and Zoey’s Pizzeria on a springlike day.
Save CR Heritage created Museum Meetups to bring together people with an interest in history and to draw attention to the area’s museums and historical sites, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
The Marion Heritage Center & Museum, 590 10th St., Marion, is in the oldest building on the block. Housed in what was originally a Methodist church, the building was constructed between 1850 and 1855. It was purchased in 1875 by the local Baptist congregation and used as their church until 1957, when the building was sold to the Marion branch of the Cedar Rapids YMCA. In 1965, it became an auto parts store until it was purchased in 1999, opening as the Marion Heritage Center in 2000.
The museum highlighted the life of Arthur Collins in a special exhibit, “The Collins Story,” that leaves at the end of February. Collins moved to Cedar Rapids at age 7 with his family in 1916. David Brenzel led the audience through Collins’ childhood, his early interest in radio communications and the work of his company, Collins Radio, in extending the reach of radio into space.
Save CR Heritage has been raising awareness of at-risk historic properties in Cedar Rapids since 2012. Help continue this important educational and advocacy work by donating here. We can’t do it without you!
Kyle Martin, president of Martin Gardner Architecture P.C., led visitors on a tour of the nearby Marion Masonic Temple, 684 10th St., Marion. The organization, started in 1844, celebrated 175 years last year and is located in the upper level of its building, constructed in 1895. The interior has been undergoing renovations and storefronts in the lower level are open for lease. In earlier times, the building was home to the first bowling alley in Marion, a post office and a theater.
Martin gave an update on a project that will move two historic brick homes in Marion to bookend a development called Carriage Corner. The development will include multi-family housing and an original carriage house in Marion. Learn more about the preservation project.
Museum Meetup attendees ended the day at Zoey’s Pizzeria, next door to the Masonic Temple at 690 10th St. The Kuhne Building, which houses Zoey’s, was constructed in 1874 after the previous building burned in an 1872 fire that decimated the block. According to the National Register of Historic Places, John Kuhne built the current building, with a saloon on the first floor and his residence on the second. The building is a model of adaptive reuse, as it has served as a boarding house (1880s), millinery (1890s), confectionery (1903-1926), the Hallwood Lunch Cafe (1950s) and an auto parts store (1970s) before becoming Zoey’s Pizzeria in the 1990s.
See more photos from the Museum Meetup, below, and if you missed out, take a look back at last year’s Museum Meetups:
If you’d like to participate on a Save CR Heritage committee or become more involved, stop by a meeting, held on the last Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the second-floor meeting room of CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids. All meetings are open to the public and visitors are welcome to attend!