The legendary Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa has been added to the registry of National Historic Landmarks by the U.S. Government.

According to the Associated Press and Iowa's News Now, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued the designation to the Surf Ballroom in a news release issued Friday January 13, from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Surf Ballroom is sometimes referred to as "the Ryman Auditorium of the North" - a reference to Nashville's famous downtown music theater. Over the decades, the Surf has hosted thousand of concerts and shows starring the biggest names and performers.

Wikipedia says the Ballroom was first opened in 1947. It caught fire and burned down in 1948, only to re-open a year later.

While the Surf has hosted many famous acts, the club is most well known as being the place where the final concert performance of Buddy Holly's life took place. He died after the show in a small aircraft that crashed landed in a nearby corn field on February 3, 1959.

“The Surf Ballroom is a national treasure. You can almost feel the energy and hear the echoes of all the concerts over the years. The soundtrack of the 20th century played live, right here in Clear Lake, Iowa.”  - Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

In 1998, the Surf Ballroom was inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.  The Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum designated the Surf Ballroom a historical landmark on January 27, 2009.

The ballroom’s latest honor was officially approved on January 13, 2021. It is now Iowa’s 27th National Historic Landmark.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

The 100 Best Places to Live on the West Coast