City plans to forego redevelopment of historic Knutson Building in favor of demolition

The City Council rejected bids Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, to redevelop the Knutson Building, but will allow new bids to be submitted. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Despite a valid offer to redevelop the Knutson Metal Co., city documents show that demolition will be pursued for the building, one of the oldest commercial structures on the west side of Cedar Rapids.  (photo/Cindy Hadish)

By Cindy Hadish/Save CR Heritage

CEDAR RAPIDS – Despite bids to redevelop the Knutson Metal Co. site, the city appears poised to demolish the historic building, even as Cedar Rapids finalizes its historic preservation plan.

An agenda item for this week’s City Council meeting, scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, notes that city staff will recommend demolishing the 1887 structure, one of the oldest commercial buildings on the west side of Cedar Rapids.

The city’s Historic Preservation Commission, however, was able to have the item removed from this week’s City Council agenda. Instead, staff will discuss the proposal at this week’s commission meeting, set for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public. Continue reading

Save CR Heritage announces collaborative effort to save historic home

One of the first structures on the block, this home, built in the 1890s at 1257 Third Ave. SE, faces demolition in the coming weeks. Leaders of Westminster Presbyterian Church, which sits a parking lot away from the house, took out a demolition permit, saying the church  wants green space in that location. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

One of the first structures on the block, this home, built in the 1890s at 1257 Third Ave. SE, will be moved as a result of a unique partnership with Save CR Heritage. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

By Cindy Hadish/Save CR Heritage

CEDAR RAPIDS – Once destined for demolition, a home built more than a century ago for a Cedar Rapids doctor and his wife will have a second chance in a new location, thanks to a unique collaboration.

In a first-of-its-kind effort, Save Cedar Rapids Heritage will move the historic house, at 1257 Third Ave. SE, to a site just blocks away in Wellington Heights.

“This collaboration will save an overlooked gem in the Wellington Heights neighborhood,” said Beth DeBoom, president of Save CR Heritage. “Moving the house nearby will ensure that it stays in use in the neighborhood where it originated, and provide affordable housing for a new family.” Continue reading

Immigrant home demolished in Cedar Rapids was among oldest in New Bohemia; building razed without commission review

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Note: The Cedar Rapids Historic Preservation Plan will be discussed Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, during an open house from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Also, the Cedar Rapids Preservation Showcase … Continue reading

Cedar Rapids considers code violations to historic Knutson Building, days before proposal deadline

The City Council rejected bids Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, to redevelop the Knutson Building, but will allow new bids to be submitted. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Cedar Rapids may issue code violations for the Knutson Building, which the city has owned since 2012. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

By Cindy Hadish/Save CR Heritage

Just days before proposals are due for redeveloping one of the oldest commercial structures in Cedar Rapids, the city has thrown another wrench in plans to save the Knutson Building.

A memo issued by John Riggs, manager of the city’s Building Services Department, notes that the roof is leaking, causing deterioration throughout the structure, located along the Cedar River at 525 Valor Way SW. Continue reading

Proposed Cedar Rapids flood control system puts historic riverfront buildings at risk

The current alignment  places the historic Hubbard Ice complex in Cedar Rapids on the wet side of flood protection. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The current alignment places the historic Hubbard Ice complex in Cedar Rapids on the wet side of flood protection. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

By Cindy Hadish/Save CR Heritage

CEDAR RAPIDS – Members of Save Cedar Rapids Heritage are concerned that the alignment of the city’s flood protection system could eliminate more historic buildings.

Already, over 1,200 homes and businesses have been demolished in the wake of the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids, so advocates hope to save what little remains of the city’s historic riverfront properties. Continue reading

Historical Smulekoff’s building opens for bids in downtown Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Known as a downtown institution, the Smulekoff’s building will change hands under city plans, but it won’t be the first time the site has been under different ownership. The City Council agreed at its meeting Tuesday to … Continue reading

Saga of two neighboring historic buildings continues in Cedar Rapids

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By Cindy Hadish/Save CR Heritage CEDAR RAPIDS – The City Council rejected bids tonight to redevelop one of the city’s oldest riverfront commercial structures, but will give the building one last chance, while its neighbor is on the road to … Continue reading

Late-1800s home needs to be moved or faces demolition on Cedar Rapids casino site

The city of Cedar Rapids is accepting bids on this home at 115 Second St. SW, provided that the house is moved from the site. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The city of Cedar Rapids is accepting bids on this home at 115 Second St. SW, provided that the house is moved. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

By Cindy Hadish/Save CR Heritage

CEDAR RAPIDS – It’s the last house standing on a lot where city leaders had gambled on a casino, but the home at 115 Second St. SW might need more than Lady Luck on its side to come out a winner.

The city is accepting bids for the home, but not the land. The winning bidder will have to move the building, or it will be demolished. Continue reading

Service station undergoes transformation in New Bohemia; finds new life as Red Ball Printing

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By Cindy Hadish/Save CR Heritage CEDAR RAPIDS — Its small size belies the massive attention a newly restored service station is attracting in New Bohemia. “There goes another one,” Frank Stephen said, as the driver of a truck slowed down … Continue reading