History Center Set for October Opening

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9)- After overcoming years of financial struggles and efforts to relocate and rebuild, The History Center in Cedar Rapids is set to start a new chapter.

The new home of The History Center in Cedar Rapids. The center will open next month.

The Douglas Mansion on 2nd Ave. S.E. is one of the few remaining downtown mansions from the late 1800s. And the home with a lot of history is just weeks away from reopening as the home of The History Center.

While the Douglas mansion started out life as a home for the family of a wealthy industrialist, it is best known as a funeral home for more than 90 years.

That funeral home closed in 2004.

And the idea behind the conversion is to restore everything to the look of the historic 1920s.

The History Center sold another larger building in December of 2015 after it became unaffordable for the nonprofit to operate.

Jason Wright, executive director of The History Center, says one big change, aside from the new home, is an organization with finances in much better shape.

“We are going to start out with no only no debt but a million dollars in our endowment that will help pay for our operating expenses,” Wright said.

Wright said fundraising reached $4-million dollars or slightly above the goal and projected budget.

The installation of exhibits will begin this week with plans to have both permanent exhibits as well as rotating displays throughout the year.

Wright says the restoration work inside the Douglas mansion is 90 percent complete and the final outside work is underway.

Saturday, October 13th is the date set for a day-long event to mark the reopening of The History Center.