Muscatine planning to build a riverfront amphitheater
MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) - Muscatine is getting a massive, new amphitheater on the riverfront that’s large enough to accommodate 4,500 people. On Wednesday, residents saw renderings of what it could look like.
The riverfront amphitheater will be built between the river and the railroad tracks on Riverside Park and will be able to hold thousands of people for large events like concerts and performances or smaller events like weddings or recitals. Community members say this is huge for Muscatine. “People are most excited about what it’s going to be. It’s above and beyond what people will expect, a big city feel of an amphitheater in Muscatine,” said Brenda Christensen, co-chair of Keep Muscatine Beautiful.
The amphitheater will be an open concept with a roof replicating a wave, or Waterfront Activity Venue for Everyone. RDG’s Landscape Architect Mike Bell said, “it’ll look like a gem. Whether it’s in use or stand-alone and lit up, it’ll be a special piece of architecture for years to come. I can’t wait for this to be in use with a large concert and people enjoying it.”
The riverfront has changed drastically over the last twenty years, says Joni Axel with the Amphitheatre committee. The goal to create this community space started in 1997, finally coming to fruition. “The first thing it’ll do is enhance the community’s amenity known as the riverfront. Not everyone has the Mississippi River in a touchable place. It’ll also bring in festivals, everyone loves festivals in Iowa, everyone has some!” added Axel.
While it will be just feet away from the river, Christensen says flooding isn’t a concern, “we were very careful with the designing, it can withstand the flooding. It just needs to be sprayed off and it’ll be fine, it can withstand a flood.”
Not only will it become a venue for thousands to enjoy, but it will also help Muscatine continue to grow. Muscatine Mayor Brad Bark said, “it just adds to our portfolio here, add economic development to come to Muscatine. You can watch a great show and come down and eat at our local restaurants and come down and socialize.”
The project is still in its early stages as a large part of it is going to be fundraising and getting those grants. Organizers estimate this project could cost 10 million dollars. They still need to raise funding for the project, and when they break ground, construction will take at least a year.
The city will continue to host open houses for the public’s input.
Riverview Center, 110 Harbor Drive, Muscatine.
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