City to consider future of one of the oldest buildings in Cedar Rapids; debate centers around cost of flood protection for riverfront Knutson building

The Knutson Building, which sits between the Cedar River and Police Station in southwest Cedar Rapids, is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Cedar Rapids. Discussion is ensuing about the future of the building and cost of flood protection at the site. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Knutson Building, which sits between the Cedar River and Police Station in southwest Cedar Rapids, is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Cedar Rapids. Discussion is ensuing about the future of the building and cost of flood protection at the site. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS — One of the oldest structures in Cedar Rapids, the Knutson Building along the city’s riverfront has evolved since 1887,  from a condensed milk factory to a woodworking plant for gunstocks, to the Warehouse bar nearly a century later, haunted house and scrap metal business.

Now owned by the city, supporters hope the building’s evolution will continue, even as discussion centers around the high costs related to flood protection at the site. Continue reading

Photo gallery: Moving day for the Brewer House

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The Brewer House, a building on the National Register of Historic Places, made its own historic move on Thursday, April 3, 2014. Goodwin House Moving of Washington, Iowa, transported the 117-year-old house 10 blocks through Cedar Rapids to its new … Continue reading

Brewer House to make its move Thursday, April 3; historic home being relocated 10 blocks away

Preparations are under way to relocate the historic Brewer House in Cedar Rapids, with a moving date set for Thursday, April 3, 2014. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Preparations are under way to relocate the historic Brewer House in Cedar Rapids, with a moving date set for Thursday, April 3, 2014. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS – It’s a story of perseverance.

Greg Young and his wife, Dawn Stephens, almost gave up in their quest to move the historic Brewer House when their initial attempts were thwarted.

“When we were first shot down, I thought, ‘at least we tried,’” Young said.

But the couple persisted, navigating a world of red tape to get to the last-minute details this week before the 117-year-old house moves on Thursday, April 3, to the music of a marching band. Continue reading

Historic Sokol building in downtown Cedar Rapids could soon take turn for the better

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The gymnasts have vaulted off, but a developer hopes to bring a new form of activity to the historic Sokol building in downtown Cedar Rapids. Where children once learned to tumble and adults strengthened their Czech social … Continue reading

Historic restoration in store for Commonwealth Apartments under tax credit proposal

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CEDAR RAPIDS – Entering the Commonwealth Apartments is like taking a step back in time. Built in 1925 as an extended-stay hotel, the building, at 1400 Second Ave. SE, features arched doorways and windows, black marble baseboards and elaborate decorative … Continue reading

Wikipedia page claiming Brucemore will be sold is “obviously erroneous”

The Brucemore mansion is seen from the estate's formal garden in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Brucemore mansion is seen from the estate’s formal garden in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The historic site was targeted in a satiric Wikipedia post and is not for sale. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS – No, Brucemore isn’t for sale.

The 26-acre estate with its 19th-century mansion was the target of a satiric Wikipedia edit that claimed the city was selling the iconic historic site in southeast Cedar Rapids.

Under “Recent Developments,” the altered Brucemore Wikipedia page, posted by an anonymous editor earlier this month, alleged that the City Council had begun exploring demolition of the mansion to make way for two new strip malls, featuring fast-food chains. Continue reading

Cedar Rapids School Board votes to sell Lincoln School to local church; 104-year-old building had been targeted for demolition

Lincoln Elementary, 912 18th Ave. SW, was built in 1910 and designed by Cedar Rapids architect, Charles Dieman. The Cedar Rapids School Board is holding a public hearing on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, on demolition plans for the building, the district's oldest standing school. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Lincoln Elementary, 912 18th Ave. SW, was built in 1910 and designed by Cedar Rapids architect, Charles Dieman. The Cedar Rapids School Board voted Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, to sell the building – the district’s oldest standing school -  rather than demolish it. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Cedar Rapids School District’s oldest building is on course to become a place of worship, rather than another empty lot in the city.

During its Feb. 24 meeting, School Board members unanimously voted in favor of  accepting a purchase agreement from Sanctuary Ministries of Cedar Rapids for the former Lincoln Elementary School, 912 18th Ave. SW. Continue reading

Stained glass windows find new homes in Cedar Rapids after demolition of historic church

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is one of the sites where stained glass windows from First Christian Church are displayed after the church was demolished in 2012. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is one of the sites where stained glass windows from First Christian Church are displayed after the church was demolished. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The stained glass windows inside the new Cedar Rapids Public Library drew Devon Whitman’s curiosity, even though he didn’t know their history.

“Of the things I’ve seen here, those are the ones I’ve thought about the most,” the 21-year-old said, noting that among the library’s high-tech amenities, “they seem a little out of place.”

The library is one of the new homes for the windows, which were salvaged from First Christian Church before the historic building at 840 Third Ave. SE was demolished to make way for medical district parking in 2012. Continue reading

New B Avenue historic district to be celebrated; district is the first for Cedar Rapids in years

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CEDAR RAPIDS — For most of her life, Dixie Derby has lived on B Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids, but it wasn’t until recently that she came to understand some of her neighborhood’s history. “It’s so neat what we can learn … Continue reading

Meeting set for Wednesday to consider taking two 1920s-era buildings off Cedar Rapids demolition list

This building at 720 First Ave. NW, previously Ajram Interiors, is one of two 1920s-era buildings to be discussed at a City Development Committee meeting on Jan. 22, 2014. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

This building at 720 First Ave. NW, previously Ajram Interiors, is one of two 1920s-era buildings to be discussed at a City Development Committee meeting on Jan. 22, 2014. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

UPDATE: Anyone interested in these buildings should contact Cedar Rapids Housing Redevelopment Analyst, Caleb Mason, at (319)286-5188 or c.mason@cedar-rapids.org.

CEDAR RAPIDS – With more than 1,000 homes and businesses razed after the 2008 floods, advocates are hoping to pull two remaining commercial buildings in northwest Cedar Rapids off the demolition list.

“We lost so much,” said Linda Seger,  president of the Northwest Neighbors Neighborhood Association. “We’d like to save what’s left.”

The Cedar Rapids Development Committee is scheduled to consider the disposition of 720 First Ave. NW and 615 K Ave. NW at its meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at City Hall Council Chambers, 101 First St. SE. The meeting is open to the public. Continue reading