Historic John Deere building preserved as Marriott hotel - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Historic John Deere building preserved as Marriott hotel

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A historic building in downtown Waterloo is seeing new life as a Marriott Courtyard hotel. 

The TechWorks 2 building, a former John Deere manufacturing building is undergoing a major transformation. Despite the changes, Developer Rodney Blackwell is making an effort to preserve a lot of the history of the building. 

The building, located on Westfield Avenue sits next to the TechWorks 1 building. The reconstruction is part of the Green@TechWorks re-development project.

Kim DeGood, who will be the manager of the Marriott hotel, has been busy putting the project in motion.

"We are excited to get it open," said DeGood. 

The multi-million dollar project will take several months to complete. DeGood says what makes this particular Marriott unique, is its history. 

"We have been preserving the pillars, which we will paint them but we don't do anything else to them," said DeGood.  "The windows, we have preserved as many as we could. The windows are gorgeous and going to give fabulous lighting throughout the hotel and the brick will be exposed in all of the rooms-the original brick. "

A picture from the 1920s shows a John Deere machinist at work in the building, a very different scene from the present-day construction crew. 

The holes in the ceiling, from the John Deere manufacturing plant, will be left untouched. 

The 180,000 square feet structure will provide 166 rooms. There will be a pool, fitness center, banquet hall for weddings and receptions, as well as a John Deere Regional Training Center and conference center.

DeGood says the developers focus was accommodating guests, including water heaters on every floor and a central air system. 

Inside the hotel, there will be a lounge, bistro and restaurant. The lounge, Iron Horse, is a play on a line of John Deere tractors from the 1970s.

"It's like a one-stop shop," said DeGood. "I mean you can eat, you have a lounge, they have the huge courtyard outside, and they also have the fitness center and pool."

The hotel is expected to open the second week of October. Once the hotel is open, Degood says they will begin the hiring process. 

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