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Cedar Rapids Historic Markers

The Cedar Rapids Historic Markers project is a collaborative community history project that seeks to highlight notable historic sites throughout the city.
1910 photo of the building

Adams School stood here from 1868-1963. One of the city’s first elementary schools, it was called the Third Ward School before being named after Presidents John and John Quincy Adams. Mostly an elementary school, Adams served as “The Annex" for Washington High School in the 1920s-1930s. Children from many backgrounds attended Adams. Like all Cedar Rapids schools, it was racially integrated thanks to a landmark 1868 Iowa Supreme Court case that banned racial segregation. Notable Adams students include aviation innovators Orville and Wilbur Wright, Hollywood actor Don DeFore, and civil rights advocate Cecil Reed. From the 1930s until a 1963 fire, the building housed the Katz auto parts warehouse.

Download this plaque (PDF format)
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