Clear Lake’s seawall. (photo by Bob Fisher)

Northern Iowa is a long way from the sea, but the so-called seawall in downtown Clear Lake is being placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service.

The seawall was built in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project and received its first major renovation last year. Mayor Nelson Crabb says town leaders and the Clear Lake Historical Society are happy to see the iconic gathering place win national recognition.

“People will go down there and sit and stare out at the lake, but they have to go to the seawall to do that,” Crabb says. “Pictures are taken there, graduation pictures, wedding pictures, you name it, they all occur right at that what we call a seawall.” The seawall was also placed on the state’s list of historical places last June.

The mayor commends the meticulous work by TNT Tuckpointing & Building Restoration of Stockton, Iowa, which finished the project under budget and ahead of schedule.  “Actually finding field granite that came from this area and then going into the actual mortar of years ago, testing that somehow, and using mortar that was almost identical, if not identical, to that which was used back in 1936,” he says. “It really is quite an authentic restoration.”

The seawall replaced the former White Pier, which was destroyed by a tornado in 1931.

(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)

Radio Iowa