Go to The Blackhawk Hotel website

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Finally...after 4 weeks of hard work we've finally finished the restoration of the front facade of the mansard level of the hotel! This, finally, completes the restoration of the BlackHawk and returns her to her former "glory" as the "grand dame" of Cedar Falls hotels. Thanks to everyone in the community and all or our guests that were so understanding while we were covered with scaffolding and dust!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Transformation...

There is fun stuff happening at the Blackhawk. We just restored the hotel to its original state… The restoration included replacing the original diamond shaped cedar shingles, new copper flashings and details, and rebuilding the original dormers as well as replacing the decorative brackets below the integral gutters.

Like so many years ago, the Blackhawk is again the architectural icon it was in the 1800s when it served as Cedar Fall's premier hotel. It's been eight years in the making but good things take time! Here are some fun photos:

Before photos (the good old days):

Progress photos:

A shot of the scaffolding on the front of the hotel. This, necessary to completely renovate the mansard, or 4th floor (upper story) of the hotel so that it will again look like it did after the 1914 renovation.

Keep checking back...we have completed this awesome restoration, and will be posting photos tomorrow!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Come join us this weekend!

Come visit us this weekend in Cedar Falls as we celebrate the 33rd year of the College Hill Arts Festival!

You will see only the BEST art exhibited here, as each artist is selected by three highly qualified jurors.

In addition to the excellent art showcases, there will also be amazing musical performances of all genres including classical, jazz, country blues, big bang, country-folk, acoustic guitar, and even a hot salsa band! Don’t miss out on the wonderful puppet theatre performing on Saturday for children and adults alike.

For more information, check out the College Hill Arts Festival website here:
Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our History...

Because the Blackhawk Hotel occupies one of the oldest continuously-operating hotel sites in the country, I thought I'd fill you all in on a bit of our history.

Our Hotel has been in operation in two buildings and under various names since the dawn of Cedar Falls' history in the early 1850s.
First known as the “Winslow House” hotel in about 1853, the hotel started out as a wooden frame “stage coach” hotel just one-half block from the town’s first mill on the Cedar River.
In about 1858 the hotel was renamed the “Western.” It took on an additional floor and continued to serve the community through the days of the Civil War.
Sometime in the 1860s the Western became the “Carter House” and continued to serve the community until, in the late 1870’s, it was destroyed by fire or raised. The building was replaced by the four-story, “ Second Empire ” that stands today and was renamed the “Davis House.”
By 1885, the ownership of the hotel was in the hands of the Burr family and it was renamed the “Burr’s Hotel.” The Burr family continued to operate the hotel until the early 1900s.
In 1914 a group of investors hired a significant architect from Waterloo, John Ralston, to redesign the venerable old structure and it was renamed the Blackhawk Hotel. The result was the interesting combination of Second Empire and Mission architecture you see today. The Blackhawk is now listed in the National Historic Register of Historic Places and offers one of the few true historic “Hotel” experiences in the country providing accommodations ranging from economy rooms to luxury, multi-room suites. Its tastefully-renovated rooms offer an interesting and rewarding lodging experience providing insight into the way people lived over one hundred years ago and the lobby is a true step back in time. The Blackhawk Hotel, on behalf of its owners, was recently awarded the 2003 Redevelopment Investor Award presented by the City of Cedar Falls and the Chamber of Commerce. It was also the Winner of the 2006 Iowa Architectural Foundation's Community Design Excellence Award.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Boutique Hotel?

What in the heck is a “Boutique Hotel”? I thought the same thing when I first heard the term. Wikipedia defines it as “intimate, usually luxurious or quirky hotel environments”…but it’s so much more than that. If you’ve never stayed at a Boutique Hotel, then you should definitely treat yourself and try one on for size. You will probably never go back to a "mainstream" hotel again. A Boutique Hotel is special in that it is smaller and more personalized...I would call it “designer”. Also many of these little gems are historic and located in charming downtown environs. Don’t let the size fool you though…often these hotels often exceed chain hotels in the amenity department, often fitted with Jacuzzi tubs, wet bars, Wi-Fi internet, heated marble bath floors, and quality, intimate dining and lounge facilities. Instead of the prototypical "box by the road", a real, "honest-to-goodness", quality Boutique Hotel will transform your lodging expectations with an exciting and special experience.

The Blackhawk Hotel in Cedar Falls is a real, historic (listed in the National Register of Historic Places) Boutique Hotel with tons of character. It is certainly a place to go when you want to treat yourself to something special. Travelers often comment that a hotel stay is usually the most dull frustrating part of a trip…but a stay at the Blackhawk IS the trip. The hotel has been renovated to retain its historic character while still offering the best amenities…just as a modern hotel would offer. The gorgeous hotel is packed with beautiful antiques, wonderful original artwork, and fun historic artifacts. There is so much history behind the hotel…but that is another blog entry lol! The history and historic surroundings add so much to the environment, making it something very special. Come on down and visit us…take a look around, and you will see first-hand what a Boutique Hotel is all about.

Whether you decide to stay at the Blackhawk, or another Boutique hotel, I do highly recommend that you give it a try. You will find that a trip to a real hotel can be fun and exciting, instead of just ordinary.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The "MOD" BlackHawk Hotel Motor Lodge

Our newest lodging experience directly behind The Historic BlackHawk Hotel is for the traveler who enjoys a more modern room setting. The fifteen completely-renovated rooms are furnished with sleek platform king beds, "mod" lighting and furniture, wall-mount flat-screen TVs, "retro" look carpet and bedding, as well as cable TV, high-speed wireless internet capability and free parking. Each "motor lodge" guest will enjoy the same amenities of the hotel including business center and fitness facilities located in hotel building.

The Blackhawk Hotel, in Cedar Falls Iowa, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The Blackhawk Hotel, in Cedar Falls Iowa, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the oldest continuously-operating hotel site in Iowa and is conveniently located in historic downtown Cedar Falls.

During the renovation of the Blackhawk we have taken great pains to retain the historic character of the original building while offering the modern conveniences of a refined hotel. Motels just don’t have the location nor offer the ambience of a true “Hotel”.

From the time you enter the lobby of the Blackhawk Hotel you instantly become comfortable with the surroundings and feel transported into a past time when the world moved slower and life was less complex. Rest assured though, we have spent over a million dollars in renovations to assure your personal satisfaction and a true “historic hotel” experience.