National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
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Newly relocated, renovated and expanded, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is now open. The building now features a 51-seat auditorium, three galleries including a 7,200 sq. ft. permanent exhibition hall, a classroom, a 5,500 sq. ft. library, a reception hall, a river view terrace, catering kitchen, and an expanded store. Additionally, the museum features three opening exhibits: Alphonse Mucha: Inspirations of Art Nouveau, featuring more than 230 pieces including paintings, lithographs, jewelry and sculpture; Weird and Wonderful: Award Winning Art for Children’s Books, featuring 76 award-winning illustrations that were honored at the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava; It All Comes Out in the Wash, featuring kroje (folk costumes) painstakingly restored to their original splendor after the flood of 2008.

Museum Reaches Destination - It's now on the Rise!

As of June 21st, the museum reached its destination (480 feet from its original location) and is now being prepped for lifting. The building has to be lifted an additional 11 feet before it can roll back on the slab and come to rest. This phase will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Keep watching the web cams as we continue our historic journey!

Museum to Move June 8 at 8 a.m.

16th Avenue SW in Czech Village and Bridge of Lions will close to get a firsthand view of the move.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (June 6, 2011) – Just days before the 3rd anniversary of the Epic Flood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) will make history in its journey to recovery. Wednesday, June 8 at 8 a.m., Patterson Structural Moving plans to start the move of the building. It will take two days to complete.

“This is a pinnacle moment, not just for us, but for the entire city of Cedar Rapids.” said CEO/President Gail Naughton. “Three years ago, we all watched as flood waters devastated the city. This year, so many communities have been affected by terrible storms and flooding and today we can show them, and the world, that there is hope; you can recover from such catastrophic events.”

Plans have been finalized for the historic relocation of the flood damaged building currently located at 30 Sixteenth Ave. SW. Once the structure is secured and relocated, it will be elevated to its final height 11ft. above where it sits today and 3 ft. above the level of the 2008 flood. It will then be rolled on to the new foundation and finally set down and secured in place. This final step will take several weeks to complete.

“Live webcams on will allow viewing around the clock for the many people around the world interested in viewing all the activity. We are excited that this exceptional moment in the museum’s history is finally coming to fruition. The expansion and renovation of this museum and library is a major milestone in flood recovery and an historic event for the city and the state of Iowa,” said Naughton.

So people can get a better view of the move, the City has agreed to close down 16th Ave SW including the Bridge of Lions. Czech Village and New Bohemia restaurants and shops are opening their doors for viewers.

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the leading United States institution preserving and interpreting Czech and Slovak history and culture. It inspires people from every background to connect with Czech and Slovak history and culture.


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Time Lapse of Raising the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Several Inches

Professionals evaluate weight to ensure a safe move

With the additional weight of bracing and steel support added to the building, it now weighs 1740 tons. This is requiring structural engineers and Patterson Structural Movers to review all procedures to ensure the safety of workers and the building in preparation for the move. A move date will be announced as soon as possible - nothing has been set yet. Additionally, dry weather conditions are needed to move the building

Museum Move Postponed Due to Wet Conditions
New date to be determined

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (April 21, 2011) – The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library announced today that the move of its building on April 26 and 27 has been postponed. The delay is attributed to the rainy weather conditions over the last several days as well as the forecast for more rain early next week.


“Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not cooperating and the road built for the museum move is solid, but the surface must be dry,” said Gail Naughton, President/CEO. “We want everyone on the crews to be safe; but, we also have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of this iconic building, which so many worked hard to build.”


A new timeline and plan is being discussed with Jeremy Patterson of Patterson Structural Moving. “As soon as we can coordinate schedules, equipment and weather, a new date will be announced,” said Naughton.


Stay updated on the progress at


Iowa to Set Record for Largest U.S. Museum Move of 3,000,000 Pounds

How the Museum Will be Moved

  • Iowa is about to set two unique new American records that are already drawing international attention.
  • They involve 3,000,000 pounds of brick and mortar, $25 million and two high profile Hawkeye state organizations.
  • In April and May, Iowa will be the site of the biggest museum move in U.S. history. Iowa record number one.
  • Jeremy Patterson of Patterson Structural Movers of Washington, Iowa, and his crew are making the historic move. Iowa record number two.

According to Patterson the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) is the largest museum in America ever moved for hazard mitigation, the process of making buildings less vulnerable to flooding disasters. The museum and library weighs 1500 tons. The weight of the museum is equivalent to 37 fully loaded semi trailers or nearly four fully loaded Boeing 747 aircraft.

The Museum was a number one visitor attraction in the Cedar Rapids area before the flood of 2008 when the building took on 8 feet of water and forever lost its ability to exhibit objects from other museums. It had averaged 32,000 visitors each year.

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