The Riverside Roundhouse, a longtime home to the Cedar Rapids City Market, opened in 1963 and was dismantled after the 2008 flood to make way for the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, shown in the background. (photo © Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Plans are being finalized to replace the beloved Czech Village roundhouse with a new building as part of a larger development.

City staff and consultants briefed a roomful of people April 10, 2024, about the updated plans for what they call the LightLine Loop.

A rendering of the new Czech Village roundhouse is shown April 10, 2024, during a meeting at the Cedar Rapids City Services Center.

Construction is planned to begin on the project in the spring of 2025, but repairs to the 16th Avenue Bridge of Lions — which connects New Bohemia and Czech Village — will begin this month, starting April 22, said Ken DeKeyser, city engineer in the Public Works Department.

That works is expected to take eight weeks, he said, during which time the bridge will still be open to pedestrians and cyclists.

The roundhouse that is part of the larger project is something the public had requested during feedback sessions, DeKeyser noted.

Read more about the roundhouse.

The city of Cedar Rapids held a meeting April 10, 2024, to update the public on plans for the Czech Village area. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Used for farmers markets, festivals and other gatherings, the Riverside Roundhouse opened in 1963, and was dismantled after the 2008 flood, when the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library moved to its spot on higher ground.

The new, smaller version will be located in the development off of 18th Avenue SW, where more than 100 homes stood before the record-high flood of 2008, and will feature bathrooms inside and out; arched doorways; a catering kitchen; rentable space for parties and will be usable year-round.

It will not be designed for produce trucks to pull up to market stalls, however, as the former roundhouse was, though DeKeyser said it could still potentially be used for farmers markets.

Materials from the original roundhouse, which survived the 2008 flood, were stored in a farm field, with hopes that it could be reconstructed in Czech Village. City officials have said those components have deteriorated.

“No parts of the former roundhouse would be used in the new roundhouse structure or signage,” DeKeyser said in an email. “Some of the discussion during last year’s vision planning meetings included the possibility of a sculpture or other aesthetic item from the old roundhouse being added to one of the public art spaces planned with this project. This can still happen after construction, but we are not currently planning any sculpture with construction, just the spaces that would be designated for public art.”

DeKeyser noted the roundhouse will have a designated location with removable bollards where vehicles can drive up to the roundhouse for maintenance or for vendors to bring materials to the building.

“The actual programming of the space and how it will be used is wide open at this point, but the intent was not to have vehicles parked along the building exterior, but instead support pop-up booths,” he wrote. “The woonerf and new parking lot along the promenade will support vehicle spaces with electrical hookups for vendors and food trucks.”

The city received 570 responses last year to an online survey designed to collect feedback from the community, which inspired the project team’s design concepts.

A rendering shows gateways that are planned as part of the project in Czech Village.

Overall, DeKeyser noted the project will provide event space for food trucks, a pedestrian promenade, plantings, space to watch fireworks, concerts and other gatherings, and will feature arched and lighted signs that complement the Czech-inspired architecture of the nearby National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.

Sidewalk tile advertisements next to the former Sykora Bakery, many of former Czech Village businesses, will be removed as a water main is replaced, and an expanded parking lot will add 115 parking spots for the area.

With construction beginning next spring, the project is expected to finish by September 2026, in order to meet the deadline for the $3 million Destination Iowa grant, via American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, being used to partially fund the project. The city also will contribute $5.5 million.

More information can be found on the city’s website. Comments can be emailed to: or by going to My CR (  

City Council member Ann Poe, who attended the meeting, said the project will benefit Czech Village and New Bohemia, but asked that construction be staged to provide the least amount of disruption to businesses.

“All of this is wonderful,” she said. “This is a lot, but we’ve got to make sure we keep our businesses alive.”

More: End of an era for Sykora Bakery

Riverside Roundhouse/Cindy Hadish
The Riverside Roundhouse is shown during its deconstruction in 2010. A new, smaller version is planned for Czech Village in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo © Cindy Hadish)