KWWL Grand Opening Celebration - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

KWWL Grand Opening Celebration

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

101 years old, the KWWL building at the corner of Fourth Street and Franklin in Waterloo, was far from its glory days when the renovation project started.  Now, nearly two years later, the building is a beautiful beacon on the Main Street Waterloo corridor.

Wednesday, KWWL celebrated the completion of the project with a Grand Opening Ceremony.  Among the speakers at the ceremony was former Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark, one of the many people responsible for getting the multi-million dollar project off the ground.

 "We have to make this happen. We just cannot let our television station leave Waterloo," recalled Clark.

 But thanks to strong partnerships between the city and KWWL, Waterloo didn't lose the station.

 "Thank you for your dedication, professionalism, loyalty, and investment in Waterloo; our home, our history, and our future," said Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart.

KWWL is here to stay - a promise made by Quincy Media's (the owner of KWWL) President and CEO, Ralph Oakley.

"It is a great day for KWWL, for Waterloo, for Cedar Falls, and for all of Eastern Iowa. This station has a long and distinguished history of serving Waterloo and the entire region. [Quincy Media has] been fortunate to own the station for just over a decade. We are excited to have invested more than $10 million in the last 10 years to renovating this building and put in state-of-the-art equipment so that we can better serve viewers throughout the region," said Oakley.

During the event, KWWL not only celebrated the future, but also recognized the roots that built the building.

It opened in 1916 as the area's premier Overland car dealership, with ornate architecture decorating the showroom.

"The building's purpose was to be a distributor for Overland Automobiles, which were manufactured in Toledo, Ohio. Not only were cars sold retail from this location, but Overland-Hanson distributed cars to 19 Northeast Iowa dealerships," explained KWWL Vice President & General Manager, Jim McKernan.

History came full circle on Wednesday, as a 1916 Overland Model 75, the very car that was sold in the building 100 years ago, was present for the grand opening; a nod to the history preserved outside and inside the building.

And to honor the historic moments that happened outside this building, a mural in the KWWL lobby celebrates all of Eastern Iowa.

"It has got over 200 different pictures on it, and everyone has got a story.  Everyone who walks in here and has any history in the area would remember it and have a story. It shows the history of this community, and also the future," said Oakley.

The Antique Car Museum of Iowa was founded in 2006 to educate visitors on the history of transportation. You can read more about the museum HERE

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