Surf District: An Iowa Great Place

Surf District: An Iowa Great Place

Clear Lake’s Surf District, a cultural and entertainment zone surrounding the historic Surf Ballroom, was designated an Iowa Great Place in 2014 by the Department of Cultural Affairs.

The anticipated outcomes of the projects include promoting the historic, artistic, educational and cultural qualities of the Surf District; enhancing the built environment around the historic Surf Ballroom; and providing a way-finding system to promote the Surf District as a destination.

The intent of the Surf District was to create a vibrant, enticing and engaging place for residents and visitors. Before its revitalization, community leaders believed that the District had fallen into a state of mediocrity and was beginning to show signs of decline. From 2007-2009, the City of Clear Lake undertook two independent community-based planning efforts, facilitated by RDG Planning & Design.

The goal of these planning efforts was to establish a future vision for the Buddy Holly Place Corridor and the Surf Ballroom vicinity to help the area reach its full public use potential.

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