CEDAR FALLS -- A police escort was on hand Wednesday morning as the old Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce building moved from its riverbank home to a new location on East Fourth Street.
A gathering of curious onlookers watched as the building was hoisted onto a truck and paraded through downtown streets. People who lived near Main Street set up camping chairs and watched the building roll by. They also saw cars and truck in its path get towed.
Soon the structure will house Cedar Falls Community Main Street, only a couple of blocks away from its current location.
Community Main Street faced a shortage of storage space after losing the use of one current location.
“We were going to need to move our stuff out of there," said Cedar Falls Community Main Street Executive Director Carol Lilly.
Meanwhile, the Western Home owned the old Chamber property and found it had an extra building on its hands.
“They were in the process of selling (the land) for the new hotel that’s going in,” Lilly said. “Rather than tear the building down the thought was to just move the building and repurpose it.”
Community Main Street offices are still located at 206 Main St. in Suite B, which is on the second floor. Their lease won’t be up until April 2019.
The lease for Community Main Street's location has its rent prepaid for 10 years. “That’s going to be coming to a close,” Lilly said. “Really from a timing stand point it all just fell into place.
The building is being donated to Community Main Street, but they’ll need to pay for the move and preparation of the new site.
“We are putting in a basement,” Lilly said. The building didn’t have a basement at its previous site.
“We have been told it was built to move when it was originally built,” Lilly said.
Community Main Street realized they had the perfect opportunity to move into the Chamber after speaking to people experienced with construction.
“This came together really fast,” Lilly said.
The biggest challenge Community Main Street faced was finding a place to put the building, Lilly said.
Permits from the Iowa Department of Transportation and city of Cedar Falls were needed to move the building from its original spot at 10 N. Main St. to 310 E. Fourth St.
The movers, Aylsworth House Movers, took the building from First Street to Clay Street, then on Second Street to State Street and then to East Fourth Street.
The building is estimated to weigh 25-tons and took about one hour to move.
The original brick had to be taken off the building so it could be moved. Later brick will be added to building to match its new location.
“This was extremely wide to move in a city, its 47-foot wide,” said Aylsworth House Movers Owner Ron Aylsworth. “You can imagine what that takes.”
Throughout the move Aylsworth had someone in front and behind the building to guide it down the street and on corners.
“It takes a lot of coordinating,” Aylsworth said.