Tucked away in the heart of Cedar Rapids, Iowa you’ll find The Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District, affectionately known as “The District.” After economic decline and a devastating flood in 2008, The Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District was formed in 2009 to help restore and breathe new life into this historic area of Cedar Rapids. Since then, it has seen tremendous growth and revitalization.
Cedar Rapids is a city that has been home to thousands of Bohemians, Moravian, and Slovak immigrants and their descendants since the turn of the Century. Many more homesteaded and settled on the farms and small Cedar Rapids towns. The Czech Village is a restored section of what was the shopping district for many of those immigrants.
These central Europeans have made lasting contributions to the Cedar Rapids community. They began arriving in 1852 to work in local packing plants, and soon a “Little Bohemia” was established in the southwest sector of the city, now known as “Czech Village.” Josef Sosel, the first Czech lawyer in the United States, was smuggled out of his native country in a barrel after being accused of revolutionary activities. Sisel settled in Cedar Rapids, where he played a prominent role in the Czech community. In 1869 Czechs established The Reading Society, which evolved into a Little Theater movement and the Light Guard Band. The Czech-language newspaper Cedar Rapids Listy began publication in 1906. In 1870, a school was established to teach children the Czech language. It still exists today. Today, Czech Village is the home of various shops, restaurants, and entertainment. The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is located in Czech Village. A1 Bed Bug Exterminator Cedar Rapids
The African American Museum of Iowa (55 12th Ave. SE) is also housed in The District, the only statewide museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and teaching Iowa’s African American history. Visit the museum to trace the state’s African American history from its roots. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and admission is $6 for adults and $3.50 for students and youth ages five and older. Learn more about what you can see at the museum at blackiowa.org.
- Lucky’s on 16th is located at 86 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA
- Caucho is located at 1202 3rd St SE #102, Cedar Rapids, IA
- Bostons is located at 804 5th St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA
- Bo Mac’s is located at 219 16th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA
- Aroma Artisan Pizza is located at 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA
Check out other neighborhoods like Lincolnway Village