Home-like art installation coming to Black Hawk Mini Park

A rendering of the planned Prairie Box structure coming downtown Iowa City. — image via the Iowa City Downtown District

The Black Hawk Mini Park in downtown Iowa City will host a temporary art installation called the “Prairie Box” designed by Hannah Givler, a sculpture and design instructor at the University of Iowa, from August through the end of October. The plan was unanimously approved by the Iowa City Council last week.

The park, located in the Ped Mall along Washington Street, will house the interactive sculpture resembling a historic foursquare home, including prairie flowers, four porch swings and an ADA compliant ramp for ease of access.

“I believe architectural space can convey meaning, share stories, affect social behavior and share history,” Givler said at the city council meeting on last week.

The installation is part of efforts through the Iowa City Downtown District to make the space more interactive, including outdoor yoga on Sundays, Wednesday board game days and Friday community lunches.

Givler said she considered “the current climate and social anxieties at the local and national level” before setting out to create a welcoming structure and gathering space. Each side of the Prairie Box has an entrance and structure has an open framework than can be used for both spontaneous and planned activities.

Givler described the idea of a porch as hybrid structure, a space where the private life in the home meets the public life near to the streets.

“The thing that interests me about the prominence of the porch in this structure, is the hybrid dynamic of public and private space, a porch is both of these things, and I think it can challenge notions we have about what it means to make oneself at home in public,” she said.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »



Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

Don’t let other people’s opinions win.

Vote for your favorite people, places and events in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area! In a time when local businesses need our support more than ever, your vote will send a little love to the places that make our community special. And don’t forget to tell us why—the best comments will be published in our December Best of the CRANDIC 2021 issue! Voting ends September 30.

Read the Best of the CRANDIC issue, on stands now

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.