Three hundred and thirty square yards of floral carpet.
That's how much flooring was laid in the common areas of the former Clarissa C. Cook Retirement Home in Davenport during its 2014-15 renovation by the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society-Davenport.
The Cook Home, a large limestone building constructed during 1881-82 by Clarissa C. Cook to provide a home for "destitute and indigent females of Scott County" has for more than 130 years been a well-kept landmark and anchor for west Davenport.
So when its board decided in 2012 that, with overall changes in senior housing and increased operating expenses, it wanted to divest itself of the property, nearby residents and city officials were concerned.
Nobody wanted to see the 12,000-square-foot building sitting on five acres at 100 S. Pine St. become abandoned or derelict.
The Cook will stated that if the home closed, it should be gifted to an organization that would carry out Cook's goals. In late 2013, the Good Samaritan Society took possession and a substantial renovation was undertaken, including those 330 square yards of carpet in the common areas.
The ground floor that had been shared space for the home's residents was restored, and eight new independent living apartments for people ages 55 and older were carved out of the 20 sleeping rooms on the second and third floors. A ninth apartment was built on the ground floor.
"It's always positive to have an adaptive reuse of a building that’s on the National Historic Register and especially when the new use is in conformance with the existing zoning," said Rita Pribyl, senior manager of the city of Davenport's community planning and economic development department.
Good Samaritan declines to say how much it spent on the project, which also included 97 new windows and the construction of nine garages for residents.
"Good Samaritan has a strong commitment to maintaining the legacy of Clarissa C. Cook and this neighborhood and as well investing in the community of Davenport, specifically the west end," Sue Geise, senior living manager, said.
Now named the Cook Legacy Village, the Cook name recalls a family that was influential in the development of Davenport.
In addition to building the 12,000-square-foot home, Clarissa C. Cook paid for construction of Davenport's first library and helped in the construction of Trinity Episcopal Church. Her husband, Ebenezer, was a mayor of Davenport.
In a paper titled "Clarissa Carolyn Cook, a woman whose gifts have kept on giving!" former Davenport library director Kay Runge quotes a passage from Cook's obituary in the Feb. 20, 1879, issue of the Davenport Democrat.
"A truly good, benevolent and worthy woman, Mrs. Cook has always borne the respect, esteem and love of people of all classes in this city.
"Her unostentatious acts of philanthropy, her devotion to her husband and to his wishes, her enlarged and generous public spirit, her pride in this her adopted city, and her great womanly qualities, could not but inspire the kindest feelings, and her death will be felt almost as a personal loss by those who have known her and been acquainted with her noble life ..."
Most Davenport residents probably have never seen this imposing structure, however. Unless you are specifically going there, you're not likely to drive past it because it's tucked away in an out-of-the-way area of west Davenport.
The ground floor retains all the graciousness of a bygone era.
Walk through the two sets of front doors and you'll find yourself in a spacious foyer. A chandelier hangs down from above, parlors open on either side and a grand staircase ascends straight ahead. A colorful stained glass window glows at the landing.
Framed portraits of Clarissa and Ebeneezer hang on either side of the fireplace in one of the parlors.
Some people say they can feel Clarissa's presence in the house, even though she died before it was built.
Hanging on a wall in the dining room is the original building contract for the home. Reading the script you can see that money was to be paid as jobs were accomplished, such a $3,000 when the building was ready for lathing.
One of the signatures is that of "N. Fejervary," belonging to Nicholas Fejervary, a Hungarian count who settled in Davenport in 1853 and whose estate became today's Fejervary Park.
T.W. McClelland, Davenport, was the builder and E.C. Gardner of Springfield, Mass., was the architect.
Each of the main downstairs rooms contains a fireplace. The mantels are plain wood, but the surrounds consist of colorful tile with designs, different colors and designs in each room. Themes are mythological, biblical and botanical, featuring birds, insects and plants.
These rooms are available as common areas to the apartment residents, but the kitchen is closed and common meals are no longer served.
The home's exterior is noteworthy, too, with towers and gables. The home's National Register nomination states that the limestone building material was extracted from the Cook family quarry near Buffalo.
The home originally sat on 15 acres that was part of the Ira Cook family homestead. In addition to the home, there was a stable for two cows, a henhouse, a large garden, a grape arbor and a large earth-covered brick-lined cave built as a root cellar for storage of the garden produce.
Among the remaining plantings is a large cucumber magnolia tree, somewhat rare for this area.