The Port of Burlington building was dedicated in October 1928 as Burlington's Municipal River Terminal. It was constructed on pylons, the same as a bridge, allowing the river to flow under it.
Here barges were loaded with coal by means of a conveyor. In the 1980's, razing of this long unused building was avoided when a plan for an adaptive reuse was devised. The plan called for converting the building into a raised pavilion for picnickers and sightseers. Fundraisers were held in 1986 with the work being completed in 1987. The State of Iowa announced plans for a Welcome Center in Burlington, and in 1988 the center opened here. The Port of Burlington Welcome Center achieved the State of Iowa's "Primary Welcome Center Status" in 2001. The Port of Burlington is now a hub of activity all year around.
The Port of Burlington Welcome Center has vast amounts of information on this area as well as the rest of the state. A scenic plaza area on the east side of the Port showcases the Mississippi riverfront. A community room for meetings and parties and a sheltered area for community events and other functions also are found here. An outdoor stage located at the south end of the building is the site of Burlington Steamboat Days American Music Festival, which attracts crowds in excess of 100,000 visitors every third week in June.
The Welcome Center is located at 400 Front Street and open 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM Monday - Sunday.
For more information contact:
Convention & Visitors Bureau Assistant Director
610 N. 4th Street, Suite 200
Burlington, IA 52601