Downtown Waterloo, Iowa
How a historic renovation rekindled a community
In 1916, many notable achievements were overshadowed by turmoil of World War I. That year, Einstein published his Theory of Relativity, the National Park Service was created and Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives. It was a good year, too, for the Overland Automobile Company. Their race car had recently finished in the top ten at the American Grand Prix and they were about to open one of their finest dealer/ distributorships in the heart of downtown Waterloo, Iowa.
Designed by local architect Clinton P. Shockley and built for the Corn Belt Auto Company, the decorative four-story building with its brick and terra cotta pilasters, could accommodate all of Overland customers’ needs. In addition to the main showroom, the first floor housed the sales offices and service garage. The second level was used as a showroom for used cars, as well as a clubroom and lounge, a battery-charging room, a workroom, stockroom, shop and employees' room. Automobiles on their way to dealers and customers were stored on the third and fourth floors.
In September of 2014, the Overland Waterloo Company Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Along with that designation, KWWL was able to secure millions of dollars in historic tax credits to offset the cost of the restoration. Of course, with that appropriation came the obligation to recreate the details and dignity of the building as it stood one hundred years ago. Fortunately, they found documentation to help them do just that. The building’s 55,000 square feet of space was more than the TV station needed and some rooms had been left virtually undisturbed. In there, they found evidence of the building’s history, including some of the original windows which had been replaced during the early remodeling. Armed with this information, Andersen® E-Series windows became an obvious choice.