The historic - and somewhat-crumbling - streetcar pavilion at Davenport's Schuetzen Park has a new lease on life with the installation of a new roof this month.
The nonprofit Schuetzen Park Gilde that cares for the site
didn't have all the money it needed for the $18,000 job, but took a "leap of faith" and hired it done anyway, making up the difference with a $4,000 bridge loan secured from a generous individual, organization president Kory Darnall said.
"The gilde decided we could not risk losing this building" by letting it go through another winter with its destructive freeze-thaw cycles, Darnall said.
The entire 21- by 15-foot concrete structure needs restoration work, but the roof was the most critical part.
The gilde has $12,000 in donations in hand and hopes to repay the zero-interest bridge loan by spring, Darnall said.
Those who already have made donations and the amounts are:
* Quad-City Oktoberfest Committee, $2,150
* Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, $2,000
* Roy E. Murray Foundation, $1,000
* Good Samaritan Society, $1,000
* Schuetzenpark Gilde and donations from about 100 individuals, $2,000
The roof work was done by Bi-State Masonry of Blue Grass.
Still needing work are the floor and various spalled and cracked areas. Then the entire structure needs to be cleaned, painted and sealed. That is expected to cost $18,000, according to the gilde's most recent estimate, Darnall said. The work will be done as time and money allow.
The gilde has been working since 1995 to restore the old German park off Waverly Road next to the Good Samaritan Society nursing home/apartment complex. It is a roughly 25-acre site that was privately owned and operated from 1870 to 1923 by a German shooting society.
The pavilion is 100 years old this year. It was the waiting station for people riding the trolley to and from the park and is its only remaining original structure.
Made of poured concrete in the Egyptian Revival architectural style, it was built with a $1,000 bequest from Davenport brewer Henry Koehler, the owner of the Independent Malting Co.
In 1998, the pavilion was designated a city landmark by the Davenport City Council.
Earlier this year, Preservation Iowa, a nonprofit group that encourages preservation efforts, listed it as one of the most endangered properties in the state. It was nominated by Darnall in hopes that the publicity would help raise money for its repair.
When the gilde began working on park restoration, the pavilion was surrounded by overgrown vegetation. The inside was filled with debris, trees were growing on the roof, a pickup truck was smashed into one side and satanic symbols had been painted on the walls, he said.
HOW TO HELPIf you would like to donate (tax-deductible) to the pavilion restoration, checks can be made out to the Schuetzenpark Gilde and sent to 3401 Schuetzen Lane, No. 224, Davenport, IA 52804-4353.