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How a Cedar Rapids strip mall brought town and country together — and stood the test of time

Anyone living in Cedar Rapids or Marion has more than likely found themselves needing to get to the other, and, most likely, has made the trip by way of First Avenue. On their way, they’ve probably seen an unassuming strip […]

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Built by immigrants in 1893, the Matyk Building is now a font of food and art in Cedar Rapids

The building that sits at 1029 3rd St SE in Cedar Rapids has roots almost as deep as the city itself. It was erected by the Matyk family, immigrants from Czechoslovakia, in 1893, only 44 years after the city was […]

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Art “Superman” Pennington, a Negro Leagues legend and longtime Cedar Rapidian, may soon be recognized as a Major League All-Star

There’s a few key facts about Superman that are pretty universally known. He’s more powerful than a locomotive. He’s able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And Superman is renowned for being faster than a speeding bullet. Cedar […]

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‘It really made an impact on much more than just this family’: Harris home added to National Register of Historic Places

The home of Cedar Rapids civil rights pioneers Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris was added to the National Register of Historic Places earlier this month, almost 60 years after the family challenged discriminatory housing practices to create that home. The […]

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Families fight to keep a Cedar Rapids fortress standing

A rare example of Egyptian Revival architecture stands strong on a sloping hillside in northeast Cedar Rapids. Imposing stone columns loom tall at the entrance of Garfield Elementary School, 1201 Maplewood Dr NE, while hardwood floors and natural woodwork add […]

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‘Understanding who you are and where you’re from’: Cedar Rapids’ Czech School has been keeping traditions alive for 150 years

When Mandy Vaughn’s two children became old enough to attend the Cedar Rapids Czech School, she was excited for them to learn the culture, songs and traditions that have been in her family for generations. Mandy went to Czech School as a child, as did her mother, Mary Haster. “It’s kind of come full circle in a sense,” Mandy said about her daughter […]

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‘Don’t let this remarkable story ever die’: The Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris Building in Cedar Rapids is now open

When his mother was growing up, she vowed she’d never marry a doctor, Peter Harris said. Lileah Furgerson was the daughter of a doctor, and knew the long hours they worked. The audience at the dedication ceremony for the new Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris building laughed when Peter mentioned his mother’s vow. Lileah did, in fact, end up marrying a doctor: Percy Harris, the first black physician in Cedar Rapids. The couple […]

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School bus tour will showcase historic Cedar Rapids elementary schools scheduled for demolition

A tour hosted by the nonprofit group CR Heritage will highlight the historic qualities of Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD) elementary schools — 10 of which will be demolished and replaced. Cedar Rapids historian Mark Stoffer Hunter will be leading the tour on Friday, Oct. 11. […]

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