The article in Monday's Quad-City Times regarding proposed demolition of the original St. Luke’s Hospital was very informative. I would like to provide additional background on the property's recent history and activities associated with it.
The building’s most recent use was for small apartment spaces many years ago. The owner was a company outside the area that had little interest in its maintenance. Additionally, inappropriate sandblasting was performed, and this accelerated the deterioration of the building.
Following several years of vacancy, efforts were made to encourage its redevelopment. Realtors worked to attract buyers; city staff inspected it and worked on crafting assistance packages. At least four developers, recruited by the Hilltop Campus Village and others, examined it, estimating renovation costs and revenue generating-potential . Each concluded that even with state and federal historic tax credits, the cost of building rehabilitation could not be justified.
Last year, Palmer College of Chiropractic purchased this building, which is in the heart of its campus. Following efforts to determine best use for the building, it too determined that based on the extent of disrepair, renovation was not feasible. Fortunately other restoration and preservation projects are going forward throughout the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus.
Restoration projects are in process throughout the Hilltop Campus Village. As an organization whose mission is to preserve, restore, redevelop and revitalize, we are reminded that investment in maintenance slows the deterioration of old and historic structures, offering a better chance for a longer productive life.
Editor's note: Tunnicliff is director of Hilltop Campus Village.