Veterans Way

Veterans Way art and history walkTHIS IS WATERLOO'S VETERANS WAY

Waterloo's Veterans Way is a place-based art and history walk along 4th Street in Downtown Waterloo. The design  includes multiple civic destination projects and a connecting walk, with thematic elements honoring Waterloo’s rich history of military service. Additional physical and pedestrian improvements will enhance safety, connectivity, and walkability.  

  • THE 4TH STREET CORRIDOR CONNECTS THE PROJECTS OUTLINED HERE along with several existing veterans memorials and commemorative spaces, such as the Vietnam Memorial Monument, Veterans Memorial Hall at Soldiers/Sailors Park, Prairie Pathways Plaza, and Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum.
  • THIS STORY WILL CONNECT THE EAST AND WEST SIDES OF WATERLOO across the 4th Street Bridge, becoming a neighborhood-to-downtown connector and economic driver that attracts new visitors to downtown Waterloo.
  • PHYSICAL AND PEDESTRIAN IMPROVEMENTS will enhance safety, connectivity, and walkability.
  • THE VETERANS WAY CREATES A MEANINGFUL DISTRICT, increasing tourism with wide-spread economic impact for the city and region.
American World War II Heritage City ApplicationIn December of 2023, the City of Waterloo was designated an American World War II Heritage City. The American World War II Heritage Cities Program (AWWIIHC) honors the contributions of local towns, cities, counties and commemorates the stories of the men, women, and children whose bravery and sacrifices shaped the U.S. home front during World War II, and still impact our country today.  Only one American World War II Heritage City can be designated in each state or territory.  Waterloo played a critical role in this history, and is excited to be recognized as an American World War II Heritage City through this Program.

You can read the application the City of Waterloo submitted for this designated by clicking here. 
The sites and projects linked together along Veterans Way:Street Map

Sullivan Brothers Family Memorial

The Sullivan Brothers Memorial, located at theSullivan A convention center, highlights the story of the Sullivan family, the brothers, and the family’s service to the country. The purpose of the memorial is to inspire people to gather together and to serve their community. The memorial will feature activities and content that honor and respect veterans and their families.

Waterloo Convention Center Signage

The Sullivan Brothers Memorial plaza  includes a new monument sign with a video board feature, as well as social media-friendly letter sign that spells out, “Waterloo” for “must-have” photo-ops for visitors and residents.

Cedar River Landing and River Road Parkway

This exciting project brings new urban living, recreation, and leisure opportunities to the downtown riverfront. This project consists of a multi-story mixed-use building with first floor commercial space and upper floor residential development. Public improvements include trails to the riverfront and permanent docks for kayaks, canoes, and recreational boaters, with easy access to the amenities of downtown Waterloo. Trailhead parking for visitors and future retail/restaurant establishments are planned. Outdoor plaza space connects to bicycle, walking, and water trails where people can gather, play, and share outdoor meals overlooking the Cedar River.

This will be completed in Phase III.

Waterloo River Lights Experience 

Lighting Bridge PhasesOn June 1st, 2023 the Waterloo River Lights experience lit up downtown Waterloo for the first time.  This is a new, innovative public art installation that  transforms the Cedar River into a canvas of living art. Beams of light turn the 4th Street bridge canopy and adjacent light towers into glittering jewels that reflect off the cascading waters of the Cedar River. Lighting under the bridges symbolically unites the two sides of the river. This project served as an economic development engine, a source of community advancement, a tool for visitor attraction, and a destination for recreation, art, and entertainment. Lighting displays will be programmed for holidays, events, and community celebrations.

To learn more about the Waterloo River Lights Experience and to experience it via video, click here. 

Veterans Walk of Honor

Vets BannerThe Waterloo Veterans Walk is a placed-based art and history linkage with pedestrian safety improvements and thematic elements honoring Waterloo’s rich veteran’s past. It serves as place to reflect and learn about the region’s Veteran history, function as a neighborhood-to-downtown connector, and an economic driver to the region by developing another exemplary reason to visit Waterloo. 

Click here to take a Digital tour of the Honorees and learn how you can purchase a Banner for this Art & History Walk. 

Pocket Park on Commercial Street

Across from the newly renovated convention center and Best Western Plus hotel, this little pocket park provides an opportunity for a restive plaza or green space in downtown Waterloo. With some quiet seating, public art, or a small active football/frisbee space, this tucked-away public space could provide a special enhancement to downtown visitors’ crossroads.

See artist concept here

This will be completed in Phase II

Living Lamps Project – 4th Street Underpass Connection

A lighting project intended to bring glimmer and gleam where 4th Street crosses under Highway 218. This illumination will brighten dark spaces and connect the Church Row neighborhood to downtown core and amenities. Possible themes include lights that signify community stories and/or pillars of light representing community values.

This will be completed in Phase II.