Davenport Invites Feedback on Riverfront Proposal

Mar 4, 2019

Davenport, the downtown partnership, and the Figge Art Museum are inviting people to help plan the next step for the Mississippi riverfront.

Recently, the three presented a new River Vision design (see video below), created by a Des Moines consultant. The price tag is $53 million. 

Michelle O'Neill reports officials from the city, museum, and business group are excited about the plan and eager for the community to come to a consensus.


Kyle Carter wants more people to enjoy the Mississippi River. He also wants them to experience the Davenport riverfront more often and in different ways. The head of the downtown partnership says two city parks already attract residents and tourists to festivals and concerts. While the skybridge is already a big draw, Carter says a restaurant and pavilion would attract even more business.

Screenshot of David Dahlquist from the Downtown Davenport Partnership video of last month's public meeting and presentation
Credit submitted / Downtown Davenport Partnership

The Rhythm City riverboat casino moved a couple of years ago, leaving the Davenport riverfront open from Lock and Dam 15 to LeClaire Park. It's ripe for development.

But it floods and floods frequently.

David Dahlquist and his team from RDG Dahlquist Art Studio in Des Moines came up with the new River Vision plan.

And flooding is the reason his presentation begins with a storm water and sanitary sewer map.

Dahlquist's plan would be implemented in nine phases with many elements (see slide #2 above). The list includes a wading and reflecting pool right across the street from the Figge Art Museum, events lawn with river access and space for a dock in the future, urban lounge or park, playgrounds and natural areas, public art, landscaping, lighting, parking, and space for food trucks.

How one of the shelters might look
Credit submitted / RDG Dahlquist Art Studio

Five overlooks or shelters would be built along the Davenport riverfront.

Dahlquist says they'd be located at the foot of Pershing, Perry, Brady, Main, and Harrison streets.

He calls them "frames" and says they would provide seating, shade, and plus places to see the river.

Kyle Carter says the Downtown Davenport Partnership and its members are ready to help with fundraising and other support.