Celebrate Coralville's HistoryEach year, from 2013 until Coralville's 150th birthday in 2023, Coralville unveils a special limited edition, individually-numbered commemorative button. The annual button highlights a location, event, or person significant to Coralville's history.
Purchase a 2019 Button for $3Two hundred and fifty individually-numbered pins are on sale beginning in mid-April at Coralville City Hall, 1512 7th St., while supplies last:
- $3 each
- $5 for two (any year)
- $10 for seven (2013-2019)
Proceeds support Coralville Festivals including 4thFest, FRYfest, BrrrFest, and Aisle of Lights.
About the Button Collection
|About the Button Artwork: Coralville Fire Department
The Coralville Fire Department celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2019. Established in 1929, the department's first "fire truck" was a two-wheeled cart with 1,000 feet of hose, hitched to a vehicle or pulled by hand.
In 1937, a fire truck was purchased to replace the hose cart. The 2019 button, with its vintage design and antique fire truck artwork, is reminiscent of the department's early years.
|About the Button Artwork: Hub of Hospitality
Following expansive growth of restaurants and places to stay along Highway 6 and 1st Avenue, Coralville became known as "the hub of hospitality" following a 1967 city slogan contest. It's a moniker that remains true today, as Coralville's restaurants, hotels, shopping, and local attractions have continued to grow and remain strong over the decades.
|About the Button Artwork: The Coralville Drive-In Theater
Near the intersection of 12th Avenue and 5th Street—just a stone’s throw from where the Coralville Public Library now stands—once stood a towering screen at 1301 5th Street that peppers the memories of many long-time Coralvillians.
The fan shape of the Coralville Drive-In Theatre lot can be seen in aerial photos from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. When the theater came to town, as the story goes, investors named it the Iowa City Drive-In Theatre, and later it was known as the Coralville Drive-In.
Investors included Myron Blank of Central States Theatre Corporation, the largest operator of drive-in theaters in the country in the 1950s (Blank, who was credited with introducing popcorn as a movie theater snack in the 1930s, is known for his philanthropic efforts in Iowa including Blank Children’s Hospital and the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, and the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa). Local lore about the theater includes showings of Patton, John Wayne movies, beach party genre flicks, and 1960s sci-fi—along with a memorable 4th of July fireworks display and specials including dusk-to-dawn night, hot dog night, dollar night, and carload night.
The theater closed in the early 1980s.
|About the Button Artwork: Aisle of Lights
Aisle of Lights is Coralville's annual tradition of lighting luminarias on a designated night in December. Thousands of white paper sacks, each filled with sand and a votive candle, create a magical scene on a winter evening, and area organizations and businesses host a merry weekend of festive events.
|About the Button Artwork: The Coralville Public Library
The Coralville Public Library celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015. The Library opened its doors in September 1965 in the northeast corner of the basement of Old Town Hall. It quickly outgrew its space and, in 1967, moved into its first permanent space at 806 5th Street, where it operated for 20 years. In 1987, the Library moved to its home at 1401 5th Street, and the building underwent an addition and renovation completed in 2008.
|About the 2014 Button: The Big Slide
The Big Slide was located at Highway 6 and 12th Avenue from 1968 until the early 1970s.
The Big Slide was selected for the 2014 button and Coralville's 141st birthday because of the slide's location, symbolism, and historic context:
|About the Button: 1876 Schoolhouse
The 2013 commemorative button includes an image of Coralville’s iconic 1876 schoolhouse, with its native limestone foundation and cast iron star claps, built on 5th Street just three years after Coralville was incorporated.
The 1876 Schoolhouse was selected for the 140th birthday button because of its strong ties to Coralville history: