1870-1890: Until the early 1890’s, this entire block of downtown Cedar Rapids consisted primarily of medium to small size residential homes between what was known as Adams Street (later Third Street SE) and the railroad tracks. The only exceptions were two of the earliest church structures built in Cedar Rapids. Between this corner of Third Street and Second Avenue SE and the alley originally stood the old First Presbyterian Church, constructed of rough limestone blocks. Much of the mortar used to hold the stone together was made of natural earth and every time it rained, the exterior walls of this church dripped mud. Thus the church became affectionately known as “Little Muddy”. To the right at the corner of Third Street and Third Avenue SE where today stands the six story Guaranty Bank Building was an early frame church structure built for the First Lutheran Church. After 1884, this little wooden church was used as a laundry facility.
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