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Moline Club

The Moline Club, located in downtown Moline, is now being sold by its owner Narveen AryaPutri. 

A piece of Moline history is going on the market.

The Moline Club building is being sold by longtime owner Narveen AryaPutri, who returned the architectural gem back to its former glory after purchasing it nearly three decades ago.

"It's been a wonderful journey and a lot of fun," said AryaPutri, who said she is ready to turn over the reception hall business to focus on her other business interests. "Now it's going to move on to another owner." 

Moline Club ballroom

The Moline Club's ballroom was the first floor to be restored when its current owner acquired the building almost 30 years ago. 

AryaPutri, a professional artist, acquired the building in 1990 and began with renovating the historic ballroom. It hosted its first wedding reception in June 1991. She said events booked for 2018 will continue and she is taking reservations through the end of the year. But she is not accepting any bookings for 2019.

She hopes the new owners will continue to use the ballroom as a reception hall, but knows that is not her decision. 

"I had a wonderful run with it," she said. "I was very grateful to be able to restore something as beautiful as the Moline Club." 

The building at 1530 5th Ave. was constructed in 1912 as the Moline Commercial Club, a club started in 1895 by Charles Deere, the son of John Deere. The work of architect H.W. Witsett, it was designed to be a six-story building, but only three were built.

The building is an example of the Prairie School style of architecture made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright and the only Quad-City building built for the public in this style, she said, adding others were built as private homes locally.

AryaPutri recalled the building's false walls, dropped ceilings and sad shape when she bought it out of foreclosure and restored it floor by floor. 

In 1996, AryaPutri founded The Institute for Cultural and Healing Traditions, a nonprofit for Independent Scholars’ Evenings and Integrative Wholistic Healing retreats on the Moline Club's second floor. The institute held its first retreat that year. 

In 2005, she restored the Moline Commercial Club, opening up the building to area businesses to socialize and network both locally and internationally. The demands of the banquet hall kept her from growing the commercial club, but that is among one of her goals now. In 2007, she opened the Phoenix Art Gallery on the first and second floors, devoting 14,000 square feet to American Midwest Art.

The building is being marketed by Rick and Sonia Berg of Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors. 

After the building is sold, AryaPutri plans to focus on growing the Moline Commercial Club, the institute and the gallery. But it is too early to say if those function will stay in the building or relocate, she said.  

"Commercial clubs were very important in America when American was building its economic prowess," she said, adding the club "is not tied to the building."