some sort of underground cavern. The inspectors lowered a camera into the void, and the resulting photos prompted further investigation.
After consultation with the Office of the State Archaeologist, it was determined that the sinkhole offered entry to one of the city’s long-abandoned beer caves.
These underground barrel-vaulted masonry “caves” for beer storage are now more than a century old, but they are structurally sound. Skilled artisans working for Cedar Rapids breweries, many of them European immigrants, constructed the caves in the tradition of similar French and German beer caves. After the breweries closed, authorities partially filled in at least some of the caves in an effort to stop vandals, daredevils, and the homeless from occupying the caves.