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Manchester, Iowa, continues to build tourism

Outdoor enthusiasts await completed park renovations 

Fehr Graham, Confluence and Martin Garden Architecture are working with Manchester, Iowa, officials to develop the next phase for the city's Whitewater Park. The project team is developing land in downtown Manchester for a new entrance to the whitewater park, which was built in 2015.



Making the entrance to the community’s business district more attractive and providing more parking for all visitors is the next step in the redevelopment of West Main Street.

The area includes a water feature containing a runnel (left), water cannons, musical instruments and a nature play area. The play area will have balance beams, a stone block arch and an embankment slide. Swings will be installed next to the river, so those enjoying them can watch kayakers and tubers.

Visitors also will have access to a restroom and shower facility, which will include kiosks with historic facts, points of interest and wildlife information (below).

The visitor building is designed with an architectural metal silhouette in the front, that from a distance will make a symbol of the Manchester Oneida Train Engine #6.


Oneida Train Engine #6 is a special remnant of Manchester’s history. In 1900, citizens voted to build their own independent rail line. On May 7, 1900, the local newspaper reported, “Manchester will no longer stand idly by and see her good men and good women, her good boys and good girls going away to find homes elsewhere.”

This kind of passion still resonates with the citizens today. For 50 years, the Manchester Oneida Railway hummed through the town, transporting people and goods.

This phase of the project will be completed in early summer and could not come at a better time – when the Whitewater Park debuts on the cover of 2018 Travel Iowa. 

Published: Feb. 1, 2018

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