Rebuilding and Restoring
I'm always impressed with communities with the spirit and drive to keep and renovate rather than to tear down and build. Muscatine is doing an excellent job with both renovation and creation of new.
They have accomplished a great deal with Project Pear of the Mississippi I and II. It was financed by a one million dollar state community-attractions grand, and locally they matched that grant with another eight million dollars. With that amount, they completed an aquatic center, restored riverfront buildings, built a new boat launch, continued development of their extensive trail system, built a skateboard park, and had the "Mississippi Harvest Sculpture" created at Riverside Park.
We were also impressed with the fact they took seven old buildings and turned them into Pearl Plaza [see separate tip]
Project Pearl of the Mississippi II has created an interactive water and play area, done creative historic lighting. This has certainly added to their goal of keeping the 40 acre riverfront "unencumbered public space". We also noticed that the former Muscatine Hotel has been completely renovated and is being sold as the Pearlview Condominiums. What a view of the Mississippi River and the Riverside Park they have. (See photographs)
There is also the Muscatine Appearance Projects [MAPs] that is hanging plaques on locations of historical and architectural interest. It's a collaboration of efforts between several local organizations and property owners: [MAPs, Muscatine Rotary Club, and Muscatine's Historic Preservation Commission.
Some of these plaques are:
1. Corner of Cedar and Second Streets on the Cedar Street wall of the Avenue Emporium store...a plaque to commemorate CARRY A NATION"S visit to Muscatine in 1901.
2. Pioneer Drug Store  is one of Muscatine's 1st business houses. Today it is Books and More at 124 E. 2nd Street. (See photographs)
3. Oscar Grossheim Studio at 317 E. 2nd St.; hung on the Wester Drug Inc. building.
4. Papoose Creek (1890s) is the brick sewage system. A major part of the development of the downtown business district. The plaque at The Flower Gallery Building at 131 E. 2nd St.
More plaques will be hung. It's a great way to show Muscatine's rich history and restoration.