Hotel occupies one of the oldest continuously-operating hotel sites
in the country having been in operation in two buildings and under
various names since the dawn of Cedar Falls' history in the early
First known as the “Winslow House” hotel in about
1853, the hotel started out as a wooden frame “stage coach” hotel
just one-half block from the town’s first mill on the Cedar
In about 1858 the hotel was renamed the “Western.” It
took on an additional floor and continued to serve the community
through the days of the Civil War.
Sometime in the 1860s the Western became the “Carter House” and
continued to serve the community until, in the late 1870’s,
it was destroyed by fire or razed. The building was replaced by
the four-story, “ Second Empire ” that stands today
and was renamed the “Davis House.”
By 1885, the ownership of the hotel was in the hands of the Burr
family and it was renamed the “Burr’s Hotel.” The
Burr family continued to operate the hotel until the early 1900s.
In 1914 a group of investors hired a significant architect from
Waterloo, John Ralston, to redesign the venerable old structure
and it was renamed the Blackhawk Hotel. The result was the interesting
combination of Second Empire and Mission architecture you see today.
The Blackhawk is now listed in the National
Historic Register of Historic Places and offers one of the
few true historic “Hotel” experiences
in the country providing accommodations ranging from economy rooms
to luxury, multi-room suites. Its tastefully-renovated rooms offer
an interesting and rewarding lodging experience providing insight
into the way people lived over one hundred years ago and the lobby
is a true step back in time. The Blackhawk Hotel, on behalf of
its owners, was recently awarded the 2003 Redevelopment Investor
Award presented by the City of Cedar Falls and the Chamber of Commerce.
Winner of the 2006 Iowa Architectural Foundation's COMMUNITY DESIGN