Iowa DNR's Twitter Iowa DNR's Flicker Iowa DNR's YouTube Iowa DNR's Pinterest Iowa DNR's Facebook | Iowa Outdoors Magazine | News | Contact Us

Site Search  search button

Cedar Rock
Cedar Rock

2611 Quasqueton Diagonal Blvd.
Buch Co Hwy W-35
Independence, IA 50644
ph. 319-934-3572

Volunteer as a Campground Host
Search for another Iowa Park

Donation to the State
When Iowa businessman Lowell Walter died in August of 1981, he and his wife, Agnes, left their dream home, Cedar Rock, to the Iowa Conservation Commission and the people of Iowa. Designed by the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the residence lies on a limestone bluff overlooking the Wapsipinicon River near Quasqueton in Buchanan County.


Cedar Rock estate grounds


The Design
The Walter house was one of Wright's most complete designs. Nearly everything at Cedar Rock bears the architect's imprint. Wright designed the furniture, selected the carpets, chose the draperies and even picked out the accessories. Cedar Rock was begun in 1948 and completed in 1950. It's roof and floors are concrete; the walls are brick, glass and walnut. Cedar Rock is one of nine Wright designed residences in Iowa. There is also a bank and hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the state. Of all the Wrights designs in Iowa, Cedar Rock is the only home chosen by Wright to bear his coveted signature tile.


The Style
The Walter house is an example of a simplified style of house Frank Lloyd Wright developed and called "Usonian". The plan for the Walter house follows the characteristic "tadpole" form, typical of Wright's Usonian homes - the bedroom wing of the house constituting the tail of the "tadpole" and the living/dining room the head. The house is one story and the overall length is about 150 feet. Everything about the Walter residence is compact and efficient - everything, that is, but the combination living/dining room which Wright called "the Garden Room". The Garden Room covers more than 900 square feet and has a fireplace which can hold five-foot logs.

Cedar Rock garden room


The view of the river and wooded valley, through the Garden Room's three glass walls, is breathtaking. Glass doors open directly from living areas to ground-level terraces. Natural light fills the house. Broad overhangs with upturned edges soften sunlight and shade the glass walls. There are openings in the overhangs covered with vines for summer shade. Clerestory windows are incorporated in every room to brighten interior spaces and release hot air trapped near the ceiling. Recessed artificial lighting creates the effect of natural light, even at night.


The Walters were justifiably proud of Cedar Rock. Very little has been altered on the estate since its construction and the structure and furnishings are in good condition. The Walters wished to assure preservation of the residence. They established a private trust fund that has several charitable obligations ahead of, but including Cedar Rock. This year adults are asked to donate $5 to help it in its efforts to assist with operational funding. Your support is not only crucial; it is appreciated by all who enjoy this Wright designed jewel.

Open to the Public                                                                                                                                                                                                                     New Tour information             
The Walter Residence and the Visitor Center are open to the public Memorial Day Weekend into October, Wednesday through Sunday. Guided tours of the house depart the Visitor Center on the hour from 10:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. We request you please reserve your party's tour. All tour requests need size of party, with desired date and time. Include a contact name and telephone number so that we may confirm your selection or possibly reschedule. The park telephone number is 319-934-3572 or email . Walk-ins are accepted only as space permits. School group tours are available, please contact the park for further information.

Directions to the Park
Important Detour Information

August 11th the bridge between Quasqueton and Cedar Rock will be replaced on W-35 also signed as Quasqueton Diagonal Blvd.  All traffic from I-380 and Hwy. 20 will have to detour to reach Cedar Rock. 

This detour will likely last past the end of the 2014 Cedar Rock touring season of late October.  If you would like a pdf file of a map with the step by step directions to Cedar Rock please call the park at (319) 934-3572 or email

To Find Cedar Rock from I-380 or Cedar Rapids, IA

  • Merge onto I-380 N/IA 27 from Cedar Rapids. (23.4mi)
  • Take the IA-150 exit, Exit 43, toward Independence/Vinton. (.4mi)
  • Turn right onto 31st Ave/IA-150N.  Continue to follow IA-150. (15.4mi)
  • Turn right onto 1st Street East/IA-150.  Continue to follow 1st St. E. (1.1mi)
  • 1st St East becomes 220th Street (0.9mi)
  • Despite the ‘Road Closed to Thru Traffic’ signs turn right onto Quasqueton Diagonal Blvd/County Hwy W-35. (5.5mi)
  • Cedar Rock State Park at 2611 Quasqueton Diagonal Blvd will be on your right.

To Find Cedar Rock from US Highway 20

  • From Hwy 20 take Exit 261 Winthrop/Quasqueton. At stop sign at the top of ramp (ignore brown sign to Cedar Rock) and turn north toward Winthrop. (1mi)
  • Turn left onto 220th Street/D-22. (5.1mi)
  • Despite the ‘Road Closed to Thru’ traffic signs turn left onto Quasqueton Diagonal Blvd/County Hwy W-35. (5.5 mi)
  • Cedar Rock State Park at 2611 Quasqueton Diagonal Blvd will be on your right.