Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau
1601 River Drive, Suite 110
Moline, IL 61265
Museum Week info coming soon!
ABOUT GERMAN AMERICAN HERITAGE CENTER
Address: 712 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, IA
Admission: Adults: $5; Seniors: $4; Children: $3 (5 – 17 years old); Free for children under 5; Members Free; Military Personnel Free between Memorial Day-Labor Day.
Hours: Tuesdays through Saturday open 10 am – 4 pm; Sunday open 12 – 4 pm. Closed Mondays. Closed Easter Sunday,
Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, December 24, Christmas Day, December 26, December 31 and New Years Day.
The German American Heritage Center, a National Historic Site, has evolved a museum that includes a large permanent exhibit and two rotating special exhibits. Within the permanent exhibit, visitors enjoy an orientation theater, six education stations, and two restored hotel rooms. Visitors enjoy an interactive experience as you learn about immigrants’ journey by sea, train, and foot, to their final destination at the German American Heritage Center building, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1870s. One of the highlights in the exhibit is called “Step into my Shoes.” Visitors will find footprints of a child, female and male at this section. They can step on any set of the footprints, which then triggers the corresponding character to appear before them on a screen and talk about their personal experience as an immigrant. Visitors may also try on clothing that immigrants would have worn during the turn of the century, and enjoy exploring many artifacts on display. The museum also provides educational programs, workshops, and classes relating to the German American experience and culture; Assists in the coordination of festivals to foster an understanding of German American heritage; provides for cultural exchange through language classes and production of cultural presentations to the public; and partners with other heritage groups on programs, exhibits and events.
The GAHC building was built in the 1870s, where thousands of German immigrants stayed in the 1800s when they arrived in the area. The building was purchased in 1995, partially restored in 1999, and reopened to the public in May 2000. In October 2009, GAHC debuted a newly expanded space including a new large interactive permanent exhibit called the “German Immigrant Experience,” two traveling exhibit spaces, and large program facilities. GAHC offers several new programs based on the new permanent exhibit and two new temporary exhibit spaces. GAHC is located at 712 West Second Street, Davenport, Iowa 52802.
The Germania House was among the earliest of many “Gast Haus” building in the area. This structure is the last remaining immigrant hotel of that period in the region and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The GAHC saved the building from deterioration and potential demolition by raising $1.3 million to restore the exterior of the building and to restore the first and second floors of the four-story building for use as a historical center. That work to save this historic treasure and to utilize it as the German American Heritage Center was completed in 2004.