The Veterans' Memorial and City Hall was dedicated to the memory of all those who have served their country in war.
The Municipal Island ensemble, along with its bridges and the nearby Federal Building, were part of an overall concept for downtown Cedar Rapids, designed according to Beaux Arts principles by the Chicago planner Edward H. Bennett. Although only a portion of his concept was carried out, it remains one of the few examples in the United States where a Beaux Arts urban planning scheme has had so great an impact on a downtown area.
The tower is topped with a solid stone cenotaph thrusting up through a classical temple, giving it a greater height and prominence on the skyline than its number of stories suggests. A stained glass window by a young Grant Wood highlights the lobby.
A limestone building with neo-classic details, its design concept follows the idea of symbolizing government with a skyscraper (along with its associations with laissez faire business). The City Hall tower is placed in front, facing a landscaped plaza with the Linn County Courthouse opposite. The block containing the public auditorium is set behind.
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