Q. There's an area just to the northwest of Vander Veer Park between Harrison and Ripley in which numerous apartment buildings with varying architecture stand that were built in the mid-1930s. I don't see this anywhere else in Davenport. I was wondering if there's a story as to why they were built? Was it for a particular population? Was it various builders and owners? They remind me of apartments I've seen in Chicago. Any ideas? — Heidi, Davenport

A. It may be the Columbia Avenue Historic District. According to information on the National Register of Historic Places Inventory dated Nov. 1, 1984, the Columbia Avenue Historic District "is composed of 19 four- to six-unit apartment buildings built between 1930 and 1939, two similar from the 1950s, and a modern ranch house which is the only intrusive feature. The 'stem' of the district is Columbia Avenue between Harrison and Ripley, containing eight of the buildings. The remaining structures are located north and south of Columbia on Ripley and Harrison, and on Hayes Street one block north of Columbia. Each building has its own garage, located directly to the rear and accessible via alleys which bisect each block. The area is immaculately kept, with low ornamental shrubbery, foundation plantings, and occasional shade trees.

"What appears at first glance to be a collection of largely identical structures is revealed upon closer examination to be a subtle exercise in theme and variation. In this regard, all the buildings of the district contribute equally to its importance," the inventory said.

To read more about the Columbia Avenue Historic District, visit qctimes.com/askthetimes.

Q. I have a concern about the metal box at the southeast corner of Brady Street and Kimberly Road in Davenport. It's in pretty rough shape. Can it be painted or replaced? — Judith, Davenport

A. We contacted the city of Davenport to find out. Nicole Gleason, public works director/assistant city administrator, responded:

"Thanks for the question. This device is part of the red light and speeding enforcement cameras. The city contracts for this service, and it is the responsibility of the vendor to maintain these boxes. The city is holding on an extension of this contract until a decision is made at the Iowa state level on the use of these devices going forward. Once it is determined if the program will continue, the vendor will be scheduled to replace the devices."

Q. We have a man living by us who owns a few houses on the same street as his. He buys up furniture, clothing, appliances, stoves, kitchen refrigerators, deep freezers, curio cabinets. He is selling out of the rental garages, having six or more yard sales a year. He is not paying any taxes. Who do we contact? This is a business. — Reader

A. According to the IRS website, irs.gov/individuals/how-do-you-report-suspected-tax-fraud-activity, you would need to submit Form 3949-A for suspected unreported income. You can either print the form from the website, order by mail from the website or by calling the Tax Fraud Hotline at 1-800-829-0433. Note: The IRS does not accept alleged tax law violation referrals over the phone. 

Ask the Times appears on Thursdays and Saturdays. You can call 563-333-2632, email ask@qctimes.com or write Ask the Times, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801.