Two Quad-Cities properties have been added to the National Register of Historic Places: the Peterson Paper Co. Building in Davenport and the former Garfield School in Moline.
The National Register, administered by the National Park Service, is the official list of properties that merit special attention and preservation. In general, properties have to be more than 50 years old to be eligible and have significance related to architecture, an individual person or a time in history.
In recent years, companies wanting to redevelop old buildings for a new use have sought National Register designation for their properties because it is a prerequisite for the allocation of federal historic preservation tax credits, a tool used to finance the redevelopment. Here's a closer look:
Peterson Paper: Touted as one of Davenport's first fireproof buildings, the structure housed the Davenport Bag & Paper Co. from the time it was built in 1908 to 1940 and, later, the Peterson Paper Co. until 1992.
In 2014, the five-story building at the corner of East 2nd Street and Pershing Avenue was turned into 23 apartments by the development team of Manoji and Manisha Baheti, of Moline, and Joe Erenberger, of Davenport.
In its National Register application, the building was cited for its Chicago School construction method, which employs poured-in-place concrete and skeleton steel framing with masonry, large plate-glass windows and limited exterior ornamentation.
Although it didn't make the building literally "fireproof," the Chicago School technology was a radical departure from 19th-century brick buildings found across Davenport at the time. The fire-resistant concrete was an important consideration for the community after a 1901 fire destroyed eight city blocks and caused more than $1.25 million in damages, according to the application.
"Looking around the downtown Davenport area, you notice that many buildings feature brick façades," the application states. "While they are beautiful examples of detailed masonry work, very few buildings feature a façade like that of the Davenport Bag & Paper Building."
Garfield Elementary School: Originally designed by local architect Olof Z. Cervin and completed in 1902, the Garfield Elementary School originally served as one of two public elementary schools for the city of Moline, and as the primary public elementary school for the Moline community of Stewartville, according to the building's National Register application.
A 1955 addition was designed by William F. Bembrock in the Mid-Century Modern style.
In 2015, the Moline-Coal Valley School District closed Garfield and Ericsson elementaries.
Garfield, located at 1518 25th Ave., was sold for $75,000 to Gorman & Co. for the possible use of senior housing. Gorman is the Wisconsin-based company that renovated the former (1914) Moline High School on 16th Street into 60 loft apartments, opening in 2007. It also built the new Moline Enterprise Lofts along the riverfront.
At present, Garfield is vacant. Calls to Gorman seeking comment on its plans were not returned.
Announcement of the National Register designation for the Peterson building came from the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office and announcement of Garfield came from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.