Historic Fourth Street at Night

Historic Fourth Street in Sioux City is shown in August 2011. The area has withstood severe flooding and economic tumult to remain one of Sioux City's major attractions.

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal file

SIOUX CITY | Even through severe flooding and economic tumult, Historic Fourth Street has withstood more than a century as one of Sioux City's major attractions.

Reaching from Iowa Street to Virginia Street, the two-block stretch serves as the core of the city's entertainment scene. Going back as far as the 19th century, however, the area has always been a local economic hub.

In the late 1800s, Sioux City's rapidly expanding stockyards and rail system attracted investors and real estate developers. Eight new buildings were constructed on Fourth Street from from 1888 to 1892, including the Boston Block and the Hotel Gordon.

Most construction in the area stalled when the Floyd River flooded in 1892, and a stock market crash the following year slashed real estate values. For about 20 years, development on Fourth Street slowed to a crawl.

The city would go on to recover, but many buildings on Fourth Street remained neglected into the 1980s. It was 1984 when Aalf's Manufacturing completed a major restoration of Boston Block, which kicked off a chain of other revitalization projects that restored the area's former image.

In 1995, the two blocks between Iowa and Virginia streets were given spots on the National Register of Historic Places, due to the area's 19th century architecture and contributions to the city's history.

Today, the area is home to several popular bars and restaurants, as well as upscale shops and boutiques. 

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