“Super extensive amount of work has to go into that,” Licandro said.
Despite that, both he and Meginnis said the building, with its 15-inch-thick stone walls, is in remarkable shape given its age, and retains much of its original layout as well as the central staircase.
“I hope to get the structural part of it done, hopefully, before winter and get some heat indoors and move to the interior,” Licandro said.
He anticipates the restoration project taking 18 to 24 months to complete.
The 2½-story structure was built in 1852 as the personal residence of German immigrant John Hiller, a stone mason who helped build the first bridge across the Mississippi River as well as the Rock Island Arsenal Clock Tower. In 1856, Hiller began expanding the building — built on land sold to him by Antoine LeClaire, one of the city’s founders — into a multi-unit dwelling, underscoring the rapid population growth and need for housing among German immigrants who flooded Davenport during the 1850s, Meginnis said.
The rowhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated as one of nine “most endangered” properties in Iowa by the nonprofit group Preservation Iowa in 2020.
“1852. That’s an incredible date to still have that building standing, but to redevelop this (property) is going to be a heavy lift,” Alderman Kyle Gripp, at-large, said. “And this is a building worth saving,” a project could spark interest to “redevelop the western portion of our downtown.”
Read Also :