New life for old Rhythm City barge in Keokuk

KEOKUK, Iowa - The old Rhythm City barge landed in Keokuk on Monday, September 4th, 2017 after leaving the Davenport river front just three days before.

The 30,000 square foot barge has been getting a lot of attention down on Keokuk's riverfront.

Many people drove by to see what it looked like and aren't sure about it being on the riverfront with no plan in place, yet.

"I thought well,  what do they want to do? I hope it turns out the way they think," said Harry Higgins, Keokuk resident.

City Administrator, Aaron Burnett, says that it is going to take time to revitalize the barge and the space near it.

"It's a long process, I mean we've got construction, permitting, all sorts of different things but a lot of potential and a lot of excitement," said Burnett.

The city already has an architect working on plans to modify the barge to make it more open to the Mississippi.

"As it is today, it doesn't really have any windows onto the river, so they'll have to be windows installed to open it up so you can see the beauty of the Mississippi down here in Keokuk," said Burnett.

The city will choose a barge committee to decide how the space will be used and one of the ideas is to have a place to dine on the river.

"This brings a different kind of quality to the riverfront with having a restaurant right here on the Mississippi," said Burnett.

For the people who live in Keokuk, they're hopeful the barge will be an asset.

"I think it's good to develop on the river and get away from the town and come down here, if it's a restaurant or something I think it's good to have it on the river," said Linda Blankenship.