Window on Waterloo & Lou Henry Hoover Memorial
Window on Waterloo is a twelve year enhancement project along relocated U.S. Highway 218 through Waterloo. The overall concept includes informal plantings of overstory trees on highway right-of-way on either side of the Central Business District approaches, with the design becoming more formal near the interface with downtown Waterloo.
Phase IV focused on visual mitigation and enhancement of the three block long Highway 218 viaduct structure. This corridor serves as the main threshold for the Central Business District from the west side, an important focal point within the community. The formal, repetitive arrangement of concrete columns supporting the viaduct provided the inspiration for the formal and repetitive arrangement of 100 spring snow crabapple trees along the corridor. This floral block provides an effective compliment to the overhead concrete infrastructure while requiring little additional maintenance for the City.
Phase V, which focused on improvements to the opposite side of the viaduct, created a sense of entry into the Central Business District with a combination of spirea hedges, summit ash, period lights to match 4th Street, and decorative paving to create a linear plaza for downtown events. The focal point along the plaza is a recognition wall honoring the community leaders who led Waterloo through the many years of highway construction. This project has received two awards, the Iowa Main Street Best Streetscape Award (2000) and the Merit Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (Iowa Chapter, 2001
A memorial tribute to Lou Henry Hoover, the wife of former President Hoover, began to be implemented in the fall of 2004. Our firm volunteered to design this memorial for the Church Row Neighborhood Association which has committed to the project. Our concept includes a series of public art pieces, in a sculpture garden setting, depicting the many facets of this talented and accomplished first lady. The first piece (pictured), designed to be the focal point of the garden, was commissioned and installed. Recently, the project has been awarded an enhancement grant by the Iowa Dept. of Transportation to complete the sculpture garden installation, and private fundraising for matching funds from the community has begun. The site, located within the crabapple orchard we had designed as part of the Highway 218 corridor project, is the actual childhood home site of Lou Henry. The existing trees are used as a fabric into which the memorial garden is woven.