RIPS recognized eight projects in 2006, for work completed in 2005 or earlier, with three Awards and five Certificates of Recognition
Sala Apartments, 320-330 19th Street, Honoree: Renaissance Rock Island The Sala Apartment building has been a presence in downtown Rock Island for over a century. The southernmost part was built in 1903 by physician E M. Sala, who also lived there with his family. Intended to provide spacious, luxurious downtown living, the apartments were equipped with large, high-ceilinged rooms with amenities such as fireplaces and bay windows. An addition in 1913 created the building we see today with three separate front entrances. It was known for decades in the mid 20th Century as the Olmsted Apartments, named for the widowed Mrs. Sala’s second husband. Under family ownership for most of its life, it was generally well maintained. Yet by 2004, it was in need of both major repairs as well as updating. Amenities such as elevators and laundry facilities are necessary for today’s tenants. Renaissance Rock Island is recognized for assuming the lead role in the Sala renovation. The first step was achieving listing on the National Register of Historic Places, no small accomplishment in itself. Then, in cooperation with Brinshore Development, restoration and rehabilitation followed. The work was reviewed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to ensure that that it met guidelines set by the Secretary of the Interior for work on historic structures. As a result, both on the exterior and the interior have kept their original significant architectural features. Even a small very old brick cottage that had served earlier Sala owners as a garage was included in the renovation project.
Little Stone House, 38th Street near 31st Avenue, Honoree: Rock Island Park and Recreation Department The Little Stone House may well be the oldest building in Rock Island. Built in 1844, using stone quarried on the William Carr farm, the home originally served to house the farm workers, while the Carr family lived closer to the Rock River. The stone house remained in the Carr family until given to the Rock Island Parks Department by descendant Bud Welch. Although the house had been maintained over the years, the stonework had become increasingly unstable. Repairs that attempted to stabilize the soft sandstone with hard cement mortar contributed to the accelerated deterioration. After expert analysis of the house, the park board’s selected contractor, Bert Lafferty Company, skillfully removed and rebuilt a significant amount of the exterior stonework. When replacement stone was needed, pieces were carefully hand matched using samples of the original stone. After the walls were repaired using appropriate soft mortar, they were given the final touch, an invisible coating to harden and waterproof the stone. The Rock Island Parks and Recreation Department is recognized for their outstanding efforts in finding a contractor with restoration knowledge and skills, as well as for their commitment of dollars for project. Thanks to this effort, the Little Stone House will likely grace our landscape for another 162 years.
Broadway Brick Sidewalk Restoration, 8th Avenue west of 20th Street, Honoree: Broadway Historic District Association. Contractor/Advisor: Dan Carothers, Kodiac Site Contractors, Inc. This is the second time that an award has been given to the Board of Directors of the Broadway Historic District for facilitating the restoration of a brick sidewalk. This walk, one of the few public brick sidewalks remaining in Rock Island, is located on 8th Avenue just west of 20th Street. The work on the 150 foot long walk was spearheaded by volunteer expert and Broadway resident, Dan Carothers of Kodiac Site Contractors, Inc. Kodiak also donated the heavy equipment used in the project. The bricks of the old uneven sidewalk were lifted, then a stable substrate was placed and tamped and the bricks were relaid with a concrete brick edging for stability. The final touch was sweeping sand into the spaces between the newly laid bricks. Four unions — Operators Local 150, Bricklayers Local 6, Laborers Local 309, and Operative Plasterer & Cement Mason Local 18 — were represented by eleven volunteers. Neighborhood residents and board members who also assisted, appreciated the expertise and efficiency of these union workers. Many materials, including the cement bricks, concrete, and portapotties were donated. The City of Rock Island donated a cash allowance, which represented their normal 50 percent cost of sidewalk reconstruction, and also waived the permit fee.
CERTIFICATES of RECOGNITION
House at 541 23rd Street, Honoree: Jeff McKinley and Dan Clem Jeff McKinley and Dan Clem have undertaken the restoration both interior and exterior, of a deteriorated but historic home in the Broadway Historic District. We honor them for their recent exterior renovation which included complete painting, replacement of damaged shingles in the front gable, and removal of an inappropriate modern deck at the rear.
House at 2801 7th Avenue, Honoree: Greg Anderson Exterior restoration of Mr. Anderson’s highly visible home on Seventh Avenue has entailed replacement of a large amount of rotting historic clapboard with identically sized new cedar. This work was done by the owner himself, who also replaced deteriorated trim elements with matching materials when necessary. A historically appropriate paint job was the finishing touch.
First Lutheran Church Parish House, 1600 20th Street Close attention to historical detail has been characteristic of the First Lutheran Church congregation in the continuing maintenance and restoration of their buildings. This certificate is given in recognition of their special effort to find, fabricate, and install the appropriate historical style half-round gutters on the Parish House.
Dennis Hitchcock, 1816 Third Avenue Storefront This certificate recognizes the continued maintenance of the historic black glass storefront. When some of the 1940s era glass panels came off, they were replaced in kind, rather than having a brand new storefront added. Architectural glass storefronts in various colors were once commonly seen in downtowns, but have been come increasingly rare, which makes this project even more significant.
Dan Lorentzen & Caleb Panamogen of Cornerstone Development, Commercial Building at 2108 Third Avenue A decade ago, the former dry cleaning establishment and apartment was completely gutted, in anticipation of demolition. Last year, an exterior and interior street-level renovation returned the building to use as part of the historic fabric of downtown, with the City of Rock Island’s façade grant program facilitating the exterior work. It is currently occupied by the Coffee Hound Deli, a wireless internet café, with the second story apartment still unfinished. This certificate recognizes the contribution of Mr. Lorentzen in saving the building and maintaining the intact elements of its original façade.