On the move: Czech museum rolls to higher ground - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

On the move: Czech museum rolls to higher ground


After years of planning and talking about the move of the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library to higher ground it's finally on the move.

Engineers on the scene from Patterson Structural Movers said the best way to evaluate the progress is to step away for a few hours and come back for another look.

The wheels only turn about a quarter of a mile per hour.

The time consuming task didn't stop hundreds of spectators from showing up to show their support for the museum move. 

"We'll definitely go see it, once its up and going, they're excited about it!" said Erin Feller of Cedar Rapids.

Feller brought her family to the Czech Village to watch the big move.

"Its kind of a positive after what everyone went through in the flood, so this way they can see it."

The Epic Flood in Cedar Rapids washed out the bottom level of the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library but on Wednesday, it started moving uphill, and away from the Cedar River.  The future site will allow for the expansion and protection of the landmark.

"It's going to be much more than we had before, and we'll be able to have the programming space in which to do conferences, and musical events," said Museum CEO/President Gail Naughton.

The new and improved museum is slated to re-open its doors in 2013, but first, structural movers will lift and roll the building to its new foundation.   

Plans have been finalized for the historic relocation of the flood damaged building currently located at 30 Sixteenth Ave. SW. Once the structure is secured and relocated, it will be elevated to its final height 11ft. above where it sits today and 3 ft. above the level of the 2008 flood. It will then be rolled on to the new foundation and finally set down and secured in place. This final step will take several weeks to complete.

"This is the National Czech and Slovak museum, and we have support from both countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia and that's really exciting." said Naughton.

Estimates showed it would be more cost effective to move The 14-hundred ton building than to tear it down and rebuild.

The expansion and renovation of this museum and library is a major milestone in flood recovery and many generations were on hand to witness the historic event for the city and the state of Iowa.  Zoe and Elijah Wolter represent the Czech Heritage Royal Court.

"It is a relief that we're starting to rebuild and people can actually see that we're working towards making everything the same or better than it was before." said Zoe Wolter.

"Its just like a great environment, the energy's really great here, and there's lots of supportive people and and if you're Czech, they like you even more!" said Elijah Wolter.

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the leading United States institution preserving and interpreting Czech and Slovak history and culture. It inspires people from every background to connect with Czech and Slovak history and culture.

To follow along with updates and to see web camera images from the move, log on to the 




National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library's Website

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