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Cedar Rapids 2nd Avenue Automobile Row Historical District

The Cedar Rapids Exide Battery building, located at 612 2nd Avenue SE, is counted as a contributing resource to the Automobile Row Historic District. The property is a one-story, 5,571-square foot, rectangular building constructed with a wood truss roof and is clad in brick.

The building is situated near the middle of its block, amid a line of contiguous, commercial buildings; the building’s façade faces south. The building was constructed in 1920 as the Cedar Rapids Exide Battery Station, but by the following year was occupied by an auto sales business. Typical of an automobile related commercial building, the building features large display windows on the primary elevation and a vehicular bay entrance.

The building was occupied by various automobile-related enterprises from the time of its construction through the district’s period of significance. Longtime occupants include the Kacena Co. from 1941-1953 and J & D Motors, 1956-1965.

The building’s visual character rests largely on the elements dictated by its historic function. In addition to the large display windows noted, the building has a generally utilitarian exterior appearance with decorative elements confined to the simple extension of the façade framing piers through the upper wall (in the form of pilasters) to terminate above the roofline. The result is a decorative device that emphasizes the three-bay façade, adds visual interest to the upper wall, and articulates the roofline. (

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  • Uploaded on November 17, 2015
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    by KingHawkFan