The famed Figge mansion on the Davenport/Bettendorf border is no more. The French country-style chateau has been razed and much of its building material hauled to Chicago for resale.
Local banker V.O. Figge paid for construction of the home, which was finished in 1954. It sat on nearly 14 acres at 235 Fernwood Ave., Davenport. Despite the Davenport address, the house is located in Bettendorf.
The current owner, Midwest retailer James von Maur, acquired the demolition permit in Bettendorf. He did not return phone calls Monday, seeking comment on his plans for the property.
Von Maur bought the home from Pete and Mary (Lujack) Pohlmann for $2.25 million in 2013. The Pohlmanns paid $2.6 million in 1996, county records show, and made considerable upgrades to the home. The property's assessed value currently is $2.3 million.
The demolition contractor, Northbrook, Ill.-based OBI Denconstruction, spent about eight weeks taking the mansion apart, owner Ken Ortiz said Monday.
"It was a phenomenal harvest," he said of the salvaged material. "Over 85 percent of that house was saved — even the exterior stone and the roofing material.
"Mr. von Maur saved a lot of it for future use. Everything else was either sold or brought to our warehouse in Chicago."
The only remnants of the home that can be seen from neighboring properties are relatively small piles of broken brick.
"It is a beautiful spot, and I can see why Mr. von Maur wants a home there," Ortiz said. "I wasn't privy to any of the plans at all. There had been significant renovations, and that stuff (building material) was really good, too.
"We didn't find any secret vaults, unfortunately."
Pohlmann said he was not sure how many rooms the house contained, adding that much of the value is in the land.
"We enjoyed living up there for a number of years," he said. "The property is the jewel. The owners had every right to do what they wanted to do."
A current neighbor of the von Maurs' predicted whatever is built in the mansion's place also will be iconic.
“They bought it so it’s their business what they do with it,” said Mark Lowden, whose home borders the estate to the east. “I’m sure whatever they do with it will better the community. It will be classy.”
Bill Connors, chief building official and community development director for the city of Bettendorf, explained the jurisdictional confusion at the 13.66-acre property.
“It’s addressed off Fernwood in Davenport because there’s no other place to address it,” he said, adding that no redevelopment plans have been submitted to his office. “It really has a nice vista from up there. It will be interesting to see what they’ll do with that property.”
Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn pointed out the estate’s wooded landscape makes it hard for anyone to notice it from the road.
“You could call it a landmark, but not many people have been back there to see it,” Ploehn said.