Rebuilding of the Centennial Cross in Key West

Preparation for construction has started on the rebuilding of the Blue Cross in Key West, Iowa. This iconic landmark will receive a complete overhaul: A new and taller version will replace the old cross that has graced the southern Dubuque skyline since 1937.

The plan is to pour a new concrete footing and erect a new cross that will be lit on both sides with LED lighting. When completed it will stand 137-feet tall and will be visible over the tree line that has blocked the sight of it for the last number of years.

Conlon Construction has been hired as the general contractor for this project. “We’re proud to have been selected for this project, especially since my grandfather, R.F. Conlon, built the original cross in 1937,” said Tim Conlon, chief executive officer of Conlon Construction.

A not-for-profit organization, Centennial Cross Incorporated, has been formed and is devoted to managing the fundraising, construction, and maintenance of the cross. The group has raised more than $180,000 of the $350,000 goal, which will pay for the construction of the cross and establish a fund for future maintenance. They plan to build a permanent display in Mt. Olivet Cemetery telling a little bit about the history of the cross as well as listing individuals and businesses that donate $10,000 or more. All donors of $100 or more will be acknowledged on the group’s website,

“The cross was originally constructed to commemorate the Centennial of the Archdiocese of Dubuque and has stood as a beacon of hope and Christian faith for more than 80 years. Now we are asking the public to help us bring back this treasured landmark,” said Tim McCaffery, president of the group.

Checks may be sent to Centennial Cross, PO Box 1315, Dubuque, IA 52004-1315 or donations can be made online at

Centennial Cross Incorporated of Dubuque, Iowa, is a tax exempt not for profit organization as described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, EIN: 87-2345730. All or part of your gift may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution.

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