It's no surprise that the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area as changed over the last four decades, but the amount of change will surprise you.

View the gallery for larger pictures than the ones below...


Cedar Falls Industrial Park Areal Photo 1970 (Source: Iowa DNR)

1970

Cedar Falls Industrial Park Areal Photo 2016 (Source: Iowa DNR)

2016

The Cedar Falls Industrial Park (above) has had the most "from the ground up" changes over the the past 46 years. This is thanks in part to the rerouted, and now four-lane version, US Highway 20 & the addition Iowa Highway 58 (the 'Avenue of the Saints' through the Cedar Valley). The CF Industrial park is closing in on 100 new commercial & industrial buildings. Several new housing editions also dot the expanding landscape.


Waterloo Greenhill Road Areal Photo 1970 (Source: Iowa DNR)

1970

Waterloo Greenhill Road Areal Photo 2016 (Source: Iowa DNR)

2016

In 1970, the Starlite Drive-In (center top) was a fixture of University Avenue in Waterloo (above). The famed Tunis Speedway was just to the south of University Avenue. In 2016, the drive-in is now a Hy-Vee, and you can still see the old race track, but land developers have started to take the area over. The construction of Greenhill Road has spawned new housing editions as well.


Waterloo Crossroads Areal Photo 1970 (Source: Iowa DNR)

1970

Waterloo Crossroads Areal Photo 2016 (Source: Iowa DNR)

2016

About the only thing on the South East corner (Crossroads Mall Area) of Waterloo (above) in 1970 was Crossroads Mall. It is still there in 2016, but the addition of I-380, US-20, and a larger US-218 have helped bring new business to the area. More buildings to Crossroads Mall. To the south of the new US-20 is the Lost Island Water Park & campground, the Casino, and there is even an expansion to Evansdale housing (upper right of photo).


Cedar Falls College Square Areal Photo 1970 (Source: Iowa DNR)

1970

Cedar Falls College Square Areal Photo 2016 (Source: Iowa DNR)

2016

College Square Mall (above) was alive and kicking in 1970. As we enter 2016, you can see the addition of Iowa Highway 58 (left) and more buildings out in front of the mall. What will be interest to see will be what University Avenue looks like in a few more years now that the University Avenue construction project, and all those round-a-bouts, is under way.


Downtown Waterloo Areal Photo 1970 (Source: Iowa DNR)

1970

Downtown Waterloo Areal Photo 2016 (Source: Iowa DNR)

2016

I love this 1970 photo of downtown Waterloo (above). Take a look at the gallery above for a better look, and you will see the Mullen Avenue bridge is only halfway across the Cedar River. In the 2016 photo, you will see the addition of the 6th Avenue bridge. John Deere has had a few face lifts too. Less we forget, the 'engineering marvel' the 'Elevated Highway' running through downtown Waterloo. It sure makes it easy to get to downtown, but you have to drive for ever to leave. It's almost like you can never leave (like the Hotel California).


Cedar Falls UNI Campus Areal Photo 1970 (Source: Iowa DNR)

1970

Cedar Falls UNI Campus Areal Photo 2016 (Source: Iowa DNR)

2016

In 1970, the UNI Campus (above) took up a fair amount of land in Cedar Falls. You can also see the old Hillcrest Drive-In on the left edge of the photo. In 2016, the UNI Campus has grown, including the addition of the UNI-Dome. The Hillcrest has be leveled for apartment living. There has also been plenty of new housing editions to the south.


George Wyth State Park Areal Photo 1970 (Source: Iowa DNR)

1970

George Wyth State Park Areal Photo 2016 (Source: Iowa DNR)

2016

When you compare the George Wyth State Park (above) area in 1970 to 2016, there is the obvious addition of the six-lane US Highway 218 and the super bridge of Iowa Highway 58 cutting through each end of the park. There has been also a growth of business buildings along Airline Highway (top).